For whatever reason this morning I felt compelled to read up a bit on US founding father Benjamin Franklin. Among the description of his inventions was an item called the “glass armonica” – a mechanical arrangement of glass bowls which rotate about a coincident axis. Such an arrangement allows many notes to be played simultaneously compared to simple water-filled goblets, for example. During its heyday, the instrument was the center of works from composers such as C.P.E. Bach, Beethoven, and even Mozart, as in this piece:
It turns out the glass armonica – or glass harmonica – is still manufactured, though it certainly isn’t cheap.