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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.

10 muzika comments:

Pete said...

Opps Armonica, I thought it was spelling error. Don't know that such an instrument exist!

CheaHS@n said...

You got 'old flower' bro..haha

foongpc said...

Glass armonica? Don't even know such a thing and such a word exist! LOL!

Mei Teng said...

Like Foong, this is something new to me.

Kelvin said...

hey the sound from it is quite nice:D

iamthewitch said...

I didn't know Glass armonica is also known as Harmonica! What a revelation! LOL

Sourav said...

I have heard the mucic of glass armonica in you tube and I really like it. Another music I like is the Tabla which is an Indian instrument.


CheaHS@n said...

foongpc ~ honestly also my first encounter.

Mei Teng ~ Wonder why it was not popular like other musical instrument.

Kelvin ~ very soothing huh.

iamthewitch ~ there are even more names to it.

Sourav ~ thanks for dropping by, oh I love tabla too may post in future.

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Superman said...

special type of music instrument. never see before.