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Glass harmonica

From Academic Kids

A glass harmonica, also known as glass armonica or simply armonica is a type of musical instrument that uses a series of glass bowls graduated in size to produce musical tones by means of friction (instruments of this type are known as friction idiophones). Because it is made of glass, it is a crystallophone. The instrument was invented by a Richard Puckeridge. It was introduced into England by Gluck. The name was proposed by Benjamin Franklin, who improved the instrument in 1761 after seeing it played. Mozart and Beethoven composed several pieces for it. However, its popularity did not last far beyond the 18th Century, partially because of a strange rumor that using the instrument caused both musicians and their listeners to go insane.

If there was any truth to the rumor that playing the glass harmonica was dangerous, it may have been due to lead in the glass or to toxins in the dye used to color-mark the bowls. However, there is no known scientific basis for the claim that listening to the instrument is dangerous; that rumor is almost certainly nothing more than superstition. [1] (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-glass-harmonica.htm)

In Franklin's version, the bowls were mounted nested on a horizontal spindle above a vessel with water. The bowls rotated with edges passing through water. The sound was produced by rubbing the moistened edges with fingers.

Name

When Benjamin Franklin invented the instrument, he called it "armonica," based on the Italian word "armonia" which means "harmony." The reeded mouth instrument "harmonica" wasn't invented until the next century, over fifty years later. Over the years Franklin's name for the instrument has been largely replaced by glass harmonica.

References

  1. Template:Web reference


External link

pl:Harmonika szklana

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