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Lasso d'amore

From Academic Kids

The lasso d'amore is a musical instrument made of corrugated plastic tubing, employed in some P. D. Q. Bach compositions such as the Erotica Variations. Musicologist Peter Schickele gives a tongue-in-cheek explanation of the instrument's evolution: Viennese cowboys twirled "their lariats over their heads with such great speed that a musical pitch was produced. ... The modifications that had made this development possible rendered [the lasso] useless for roping cattle."

In reality, the lasso d'amore is a toy sold under various names including "bloogle". It is much like a thin vacuum cleaner hose that is swung in a circle to play. The faster the toy is swung the higher the pitch of the note it produces. It produces discrete notes in a scale like a valveless brass instrument. To be played in concert as a lasso d'amore the length of the toy must be trimmed to tune it.

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