Jew's Harps = Maultrommeln
Jew's Harp - everybody in Europe usually thinks of Bavarian music!

But the Jew's Harp exists nearly all over the world, in the Altai mountains it is called Komus, however. In the picture you find a small selection of these musical instruments. The large one in the center was built in Siberia, and on its left two bamboo Jew's Harps of the Philippines are shown. On the left margin you'll find a Komus made from brass. In former times the Komus was made of wood.

The photo was taken in the Museum for Musical Instruments (MIM) of St.Gilgen/Austria at Lake Wolfgang. The kind owner of these instruments is Askold zur Eck who is the director of the museum, too. Numerous instruments from all over the world are exhibited here, nearly all of them having been collected by Askold's parents.

Askold gives his visitors the opportunity to see samples of a lot of rare instruments among them a Thai mouth organ (Khen), a Chinese violin (Erh hu), a funnel violin (..or is it called trumpet violin..?) and a Chinese zither (Ch'in - a kind of a small Koto). And as a true masters on the Jew's Harp, he also shows the playing technique on this instrument. Interested Visitors can directly become participants in a small Jew's Harp course.

If you are interested in musical instruments, and you visit Austria you should visit the MIM.
Further information concerning the MIM see links