THE PRAGUE QUIET MUSIC COLLECTIVE presents: THE SIXTH-TONE HARMONIUM

The centre-point of the Prague Quiet Music Collective's first season was a unique half-forgotten instrument – the sixth-tone harmonium, for which several new pieces were created.

Sixth-tone harmoniumIan Mikyska and Miroslav Beinhauer

The sixth-tone harmonium is an utterly unique instrument on a world scale. Its creation was initiated by a pioneer of microtonal music in the first half of the 20th century, a visionary and one of the most striking Czech composer, Alois Hába. Hába used it in his sixth-tone opera Thy Kingdom Come and also in the only – until 2021, that is – solo composition for this instrument: the Six Compositions for Sixth-tone Harmonium, op. 37. This piece was recorded in 2019 by Miroslav Beinhauer, the only concert performer on sixth-tone harmonium in the world (♫ click here to listen ♫). 

The Prague Quiet Music Collective brought this precious instrument, which is part of the collections at the National Museum – Czech Museum of Music, into the sphere of live art. It thus became fruitful inspiration and the source of powerful experiences, proving that even museum exhibits can be made a living part of our musical culture. We were thus following in the work begun by the Ostrava Centre for New Music, which produced the world premiere of the opera Thy Kingdom Come in 2018 and, in August 2021, presented four new pieces for the harmonium and ensemble at the Ostrava Days festival. Our group's first season featured four concerts with an innovative dramaturgy that aimed to disrupt listening conventions and take our visitors' ears far beyond the limits of their usual expectations. We were also hosting a number of educational activities for both the expert and general public, aiming to bring the world of microtonal music, otherness, and new points of hearing closer to all sonic adventurers.

OUR ACTIVITIES IN 2021/2022


Project partners

National Museum – Czech Museum of Music
Czech Radio
Strings of Autumn
Ostrava Center for New Music
Contempuls

THE PROJECT "In – Composition for sixth-tone harmonium and development and application of educational programme focusing on microtonal music" WAS SUPPORTED BY The EEA and Norway Grants 2014 – 2021, Programme Culture AND THE Ministry of Culture Czech Republic. THANK YOU ♥
Sixth-tone harmoniumMiroslav Beinhauer playing the sixth-tone harmoniumSixth-tone harmoniumIan MikyskaSixth-tone harmoniumIan Mikyska and Miroslav BeinhauerSixth-tone harmoniumMiroslav BeinhauerAlois Hába and the sixth-tone harmonium