Oct
12
2017
0

In Nomine Revisited: Glass Armonicas.

Fascinating things.

Glass Armonicas – Google Docs

Glass Armonicas

Strictly speaking, these items are not artifacts, as no truly esoteric knowledge is needed to either create or operate them.  Indeed, that is the basic issue that both Heaven and Hell have with the items.

The first Glass Armonica was invented by Benjamin Franklin; he had been fascinated by the practice of ‘tuning’ wine glasses to produce music.  The basic idea is to take a set of glasses, fill them with various levels of water and run a moistened finger along the edge.  The level of the water dictates the tone produced by the finger, which means that it is a relatively straightforward matter to set up a scale and thus play music.  Franklin’s innovation was to replace the glasses with bowls specifically designed to produce the correct tone, then mount the bowls on a spindle; the performer merely had to keep the bowls moving with a foot pedal (and keep his fingers wet, which was almost as trivial).  As usual, his invention was wildly popular.  Many listeners compared the tones to angelic music (actual celestials agree that it isn’t, but they do generally think that armonicas sound very pretty) and claimed that it had all sorts of healing virtues.  That rumor is incorrect; so was the later one that Glass Armonicas were dangerous to one’s health.  The major difference between the two rumors was that the former wasn’t deliberately spread, and the latter was. (more…)

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