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The Glass Armonica

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.