Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Glass Harmonica

Vera Meyer returned to the Franklin Historical Museum to help celebrates Benjamin Franklin's birthday on Sunday. His birthday actually is Jan 17th.

The standing room only crowd listened, made suggestions, and asked good questions about the glass harmonica.

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The instrument is turned by hand or in this case with an electric motor. It is played by holding ones fingers along the edge of the glass. Both the glass and the fingers need to be wet to make good sounds.

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When trying to play a piece with high notes, Vera remarked after that she usually brings her own water with her. The instrument plays better with hard water than soft water.

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The instrument is more likely to play music with slower tempos like church hymns or waltzes. She did have a request for a polka and that type of music is too much uptempo to do well with this.

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For Vera's prior visits to the Historical Museum for Ben's Birthday visit this link for 2012 and this for 2011

For additional info on Ben visit this wikipedia page

For additional information on the glass harmonica this page on wikipedia can get you started

And if you missed stopping by, but would like to hear what the glass harmonica sounds like, skip ahead in this recording to about the 9 minute mark to listen and enjoy  (of course, if you want to step back in time to 2011, don't skip just listen).

Franklin Matters: FM #84 - Week Ending Jan 30, 2011Jan 30, 2011
Those who came by were able to learn from Vera Meyer about the glass harmonica that Ben invented while listening to her play. I hope she is able to come back to the museum in the future. The instrument is special and her ...http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/