Main Directory Index
Washington Phillips

sound clips

Here you can get a glimpse of what a few of these instruments sound like. For the sake of download time, most of the clips are short; only a minute or less in length. Still, they're pretty big files, so you may have to give them some time to load. The sound clips are .mp3 files.

The instruments featured in the sound clips are pictured; click on any photo to reveal a larger image, if you'd like a closer look at any of them.




ukelin and chord-zither

First up are a couple of old favorites, played on a Bosstone ukelin and a Columbia Special No. 2 1/4 chord-zither. Both instruments are products of the Phonoharp Company of East Boston, MA, which was active from c. 1890 to 1926.

Old Rosin the Bow

Macon County


Phonoharp/Columbia No. 3 chord-zither

Here's a zither solo, the well-known sacred piece entitled "Farther Along." This is played on the 5/17 chord-zither below, a Columbia No. 3, another instrument by the Phonoharp Company.

Farther Along


Phonoharp/Columbia No. 4 chord-zither

And another zither solo, a country ragtime piece entitled "Japanese Breakdown", played on the 6/22 chord-zither pictured, a Columbia Special #4.

Japanese Breakdown


celestaphone (altered)

And here's the "Celestaphone Reel", played on a specially configured celestaphone with the gizmo removed, an idea inspired by Washington Phillips.

Celestaphone Reel


Zimmermann No. 2 7/8 autoharp, fiddle

Next up is an old sentimental song from Charlie Poole, played on the Dolgeville No. 2 7/8 autoharp and the fiddle.

Baltimore Fire


Zimmermann No. 73 autoharp, fiddle

Now an old country fiddle piece played as a duet featuring the Dolgeville No. 73 autoharp and the fiddle, two instruments that go together quite well.

Walk Tom Walker


Menzenhauer No. 5 chord-zither (altered), fiddle

Here's a south-of-the-border-style number, a duet played on a Menzenhauer No. 5 chord-zither, converted to 9/40 configuration, and a mandolin.

Mexican Polka


Marx guitarchimes

The Marx guitarchimes derives its melody from a built-in miniature xylophone. Whether or not this instrument is "technically" a fretless zither is a question for someone other than me, but nonetheless the combination of the xylophone and accompaniment via strings makes for an interesting sound.




Here's one Harry Truman used to like to knock out on the piano. In fact, it was something of a signature piece of his. Here it is played on a Triola mandoline-zither.

Missouri Waltz

Washington Phillips

For comparative sound clips of the dolceola and Phonoharp Company chord-zithers like those played by Washington Phillips, visit the Washington Phillips Page.