Metronome

Psychology

Accession Number: 2011.psy.56

Instrument Name: Metronome

Description:

Wooden, pyramid-shaped box. The wooden panel on the front of the box opens to reveal an analog display and a metal pendulum-swing attached at the base of the mechanism (a metronome). There are three electrical terminals at the front of the box, and a metal key on the right side that rotates to wind up the mechanism. The inside vertical analog display is a gauge for metronome settings corresponding to musical time measurements: “Presto, Allegro, Andante, Adagio, Larghetto, Largo”. There is a hexagonal metal label on the front. The gears are visible through the open bottom.

Alternative Name:

Primary Materials: Wood, Metal.

Markings:

The front label is marked “Metronome Selon Maelzel”. The label’s border reads: “Prais, Bruxelles, Hollande, France, Amerique, Londres”. There are pencil markings on the bottom that read “23″ and “F”.

Dimensions (cm):

Height = 21; Width = 11 (base), 3 cm (top); Length = 11 (base), 3 (top)

Function:

Used to keep time. Electrical leads suggest that this may have been an electrical timer.

Condition:

Poor. The front of the metronome is no longer attached, nor is the pendulum. The beats can no longer be adjusted.

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: Metronome Selon Maelzel

Date of Manufacture:

Provenance:

Dept. of Psychology, University of Toronto

Donated to UTSIC: No

Historical Notes:

This type of metronome was patented by Maelzel in 1815 and has been used mostly by musicians to measure their speed. Around the turn of the century, Ivan Pavlov used the metronome as a neutral stimulus to condition his dogs.
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