While a great artist and inventor, Leonardo da Vinci was not very well known for his contributions to music, even though he had was an adept maker of instruments and a talented composer.
While a great artist and inventor, Leonardo da Vinci was not very well known for his contributions to music, even though he had was an adept maker of instruments and a talented composer. Recently, Polish pianist, Sławomir Zubrzycki, has taken it upon himself to oversee the completion of one of da Vinci's designs for a musical instrument, the Viola Organista. This instrument works sort of like a piano or harpsichord, but instead of striking or plucking the strings when played, it "bows" the strings when contact is made with a rotating wheel, much like a hurdy gurdy does. Zubrzycki plays a few pieces by different composers on the instrument to showcase some of its applications as well as its range, timbre, and articulations. There have been reconstructions of the instrument dating back to the late twentieth century, but this appears to be one of the more sophisticated builds, having a clearer sound and simpler interface (wheel is controlled by foot pedal rather than hand crank) than others that I have researched.
If you find any other good replicas of this instrument or any other antique instruments, post a comment about it below!
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