Aeolian Harp


This Aeolian harp was made in the mid-1960s by Dennis Durogi in Carlinville, Illinois, mid-1960s. It is made of wood with dove-tail joinery, six f-shaped and 12 round sound holes, and 3 sets of 2 small connected sound holes, and 9 wood friction tuning pegs.

Dennis David Durogi (1935-2017) was an artist and teacher of fine arts at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois and SUNY Freedonia in New York. After his retirement he became a master craftsman and luthier, making mountain and hammered dulcimers and psalteries.

Collector Anne Grimes noted about Derogi, “ ... very successful instrument maker. But expensive.” In a letter to Mrs. Grimes, Durogi said, “I’m sending the wind harp today. I’ve been waiting for a good wind so I could test it. A very stiff breeze is needed. All the strings should be tuned to the same note, usually low G. The different harmonic overtones are produced by the wind striking the various thicknesses of strings at different angles and at varying pressures. The harp is usually placed under a slightly opened window sash.”

Anne Grimes (1912-2004) was an American journalist, musician, and historian of American (particularly Midwestern) folklore. Grimes studied voice and piano at Ohio Wesleyan and initiated graduate studies at Ohio State University. Following her education, Grimes was a music teacher, music and dance critic, and radio host. After WWII, Grimes began collecting and documenting folk songs throughout Ohio, as well as collecting Appalachian dulcimers and zithers. She would continue this work, performing, recording, and lecturing on instruments from her collection throughout the rest of her career.

Date Made: mid-1960s

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Illinois, Carlinville

See more items in: Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments, Music & Musical Instruments, Dulcimers


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1996.0276.37Accession Number: 1996.0276Catalog Number: 1996.0276.37

Object Name: aeolian harp

Physical Description: wood (overall material)Measurements: overall: 3 7/16 in x 8 1/16 in x 21 1/2 in; 8.73125 cm x 20.47875 cm x 54.61 cm


Record Id: nmah_608142

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.