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Tuesday, November 24, 2009


The glass harmonica, with its many names like glass armonica, bowl organ, hydrocrystalophone, or simply the armonica (derived from "harmonia", the Greek word for harmony), is a type of musical instrument that uses a series of glass bowls or goblets graduated in size to produce musical tones by means of friction by rubbing the rims with the fingers whereby is another version of the glass harp invented by Benjamin Franklin after seeing water filled wine glasses played by Edmund Delaval in England in 1758.

Segment from the history channel on Benjamin Franklin's Glass Armonica.

William Zeitler plays 'Venus - the Sphere of Love' on the Glass Armonica in Hong Kong.

In Franklin's treadle operated version 37 bowls were mounted horizontally on an iron spindle. The whole spindle turned by means of a foot pedal. The sound was produced by touching the rims of the bowls with moistened fingers. Rims were painted different colors according to the pitch of the note. A's were dark blue, B's purple, C's red, D's orange, E's yellow, F's green, G's blue, and accidentals white. With the Franklin design it is possible to play ten glasses simultaneously if desired, a technique that is very difficult if not impossible to execute using upright goblets. Franklin also advocated the use of a small amount of powdered chalk on the fingers which helped produce a clear tone in the same way rosin is applied to the bows of string instruments. [wikipedia]

An excerpt from the famous Mozart "Adagio und Rondo" K.617 for Glassharmonica and Quartet, by Thomas Bloch (Glassharmonica) and the soloists of the Orchestre Pasdeloup, during a concert given in salle Gaveau, Paris.

Music by Wolfgang A. Mozart. Played by French artist Thomas Bloch, exhibiting the glass harmonica in the Paris Music Museum, Nov. 29, 2007.

Vera Meyer plays the Glass Armonica (aka Harmonica) in Harvard Square, Boston, July, 2005.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Many would have tried this before rubbing the rim of wine glass or beer mug in pubs or discos only to produce noise or sound but no music. How about making music with wine glass with class with Yesterday?

Wine glass is fine. Best effect is to wash your hands and fingers clean. Hold the glass firmly by the base with the other hand and rub your wet finger around the rim. Eventually you will surely get the glass to resonate. Robert Tiso plays first m. of symphony n°5, by L.V.Beethoven, with glass harp. Cool..

Picture is not that sharp but the music is awesome, fantastic..

Close Encounter of the 'Glass' Kind..

Glass Harpist Alexander Zoltan performs on the Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic.

Fantastic sound - Vienna street player performs the organ music with his water glasses.

Jamey Turner plays something familiar - 'The Moon Represents My Heart' by Teresa Teng - [yuèliang dàibiǎo wǒde xīn] "月亮代表我的心" and Beethoven's Ode to Joy on the "glass harp".

Amazing wine glass music by Jamey Turner. Jameyturner.com

Coming up next...Glass Armonica

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Someone challenged me with this strange question "can you whistle while brushing your teeth at the same time?" Wow fantastic, but replied it's ridiculous cannot be possible and we took a bet saying no way he can do it. The deal is on and the demo is set. He calmly took out his dentures and whistled his way to the bank grinning from ear to ear.. Here are some of the music produced without musical instrument..they are simply awesome!

World Whistling Championship guess who is the champ?

Who says girls cannot whistle or not supposed to whistle?  Not any more..Those days our old folks would not allow any whistling at night or when passing through jungles or rubber estates. Reasons? Will attract those unseen beings. What about girls who must not whistle in the olden days? Again old folks said no, reasons are the same "all of the above applies plus one strong statement, it's 'unlady like' for a girl to whistle". So up till to today there are quite a number of ladies who do not know how to whistle. What about the girls of the younger generation do you know how to whistle? Not allowed to whistle or just dislike whistling?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

മ BANJO Part II - Homemade

There are 5-String Bluegrass Banjo, 5-String Open Back Banjo, 6-String Banjo, 4-String Banjo etc etc just to name a few. Scholars have found that many of these instruments have names that are related to the modern word "banjo", such as "banjar", "banjil", "banza", "bangoe", "bangie", "banshaw. What about these names for a Banjo? Cookie tin, wine box, cigar box, brass pan? Let's go banjo-ing..

Cookie Tin Banjo

Darling have you seen the new cookies I bought last week? 

Brass Pan Banjo

You wanna pancake with honey? Honey!

Gas Tin Banjo

Whoa high powered vroom banjo player, could beat the world record and be the fastest banjo player.

Cigar Box Banjo

Holy smoke! Message from the owner, "Chainduck" ~ "Total parts cost on this was about $50. A buddy of mine gave me the tuners...The pearl cost me $5 ebay. The head $12, Stove ring $4, The tailpiece was from my first plywood tenor banjo, I built in Jr. High...not a big success...LOL Various nuts and bolts..etc. make up the balance of the cost. The neck was made from scraps off an electric I build a few months earlier. Time to build...180 hours or more...LOL..lots of head scratching."

Oil Can Banjo

Yummy olive oil banjo, nice song.."God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"

Cigar Box Banjo

Yeah hold it! I have posted the cigar box before, but this guy is real cool, teaches how to play the banjo so easy going, love to watch him play. Smooth like smoke on the water..

Wine Box Banjo

Yamseng Banjo! Made from a Franzia Chillable Red wine box. Its got a fretless rosewood fingerboard, a two-footed bridge, and a Yopp tuner built into the tail piece.

Salad Bowl Banjo

The owner found this salad bowl in an antique shop and has made two salad bowl banjos already. Can someone pass the mayonaise over please!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


The Banjo is a stringed instrument which has its root in Africa. Africans transported to the Caribbean and Latin America were playing banjos in the early 17th and 18th centuries before America. Africans in the US were the predominant players of this instrument until the 1840s. Originally the banjos were made out of gourds and skins. The body, or "pot", normally consists of a circular rim (generally made of wood), a metal tone ring, and a tensioned head, similar to a drum head. Traditionally animal skin were used for the drum head, but synthetic materials have replace most of them today. The strings numbered between three and nine, with four- and five-string banjos being popular. In almost all of its forms, the banjo's playing is characterized by a fast arpeggiated plucking, although there are many different playing styles. They can be played like strumming a guitar, bowed or plucked like a harp. Today, the banjo is commonly associated with country, folk and bluegrass music.

What is a gourd?

How Banjos are made..

Banjo lesson: Forward/Backward Roll, Alternating Thumb Roll..

Using fingerpicks and tuning..This great video teaches you how to use your fingerpicks. Special thanks to David from musicmoose.org for this wonderful tutorial .

Banjo crash course..

Country Guitar "Duelling Banjos" - By Paco Pascual. Haha this was the tune that got me interested in the sound of banjo when I was a kid and bingo so glad I found it..YeeHaw!

Master of the banjo Gerry O'Connor plays two reels: "The Bag of Spuds" and "The Copperplate". These tunes were recorded in Gerry's hometown of Nenagh in October 2004, just after the release of his CD, "No Place Like Home."

Florida Today Coverage and footage of the Guinness Event Worlds Fastest Banjo Player, Grammy Nominated Banjo Player Todd Taylor Sets New World Record.

Banjo Hall of Fame, Tim Allan, plays solo Tenor Banjo, The William Tell Overture is often known as.. "Hi-yo, Silver!", The Lone Ranger!

Steve Martin & Earl Scruggs - Foggy Mountain Breakdown. I cannot help myself for not shaking my head while listening and watching..COOL!!!

Guinness World Record - 59 Banjoists Play Foggy Mountain Breakdown by the legendary Earl Scruggs. Are you able to spot the only one 'leftie' out of the 59 Banjoists?
Normal average Banjo price ranges from U$800 - U$3000 unless you want to make it on your own, possible???

Coming up next: Banjos made from cookie tin, cigar box, oil can, wine box etc? Huh!!!!