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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Da Vinci's wacky piano heard for the first time, after 500 years

Da Vinci's wacky piano heard for the first time, after 500 years
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Posting Junkie
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Nov 18, 2013, 08:14 PM
 
This is absolutely remarkable.

Leonardo Da Vinci's wacky piano is heard for the first time, after 500 years

The effect is a sound that da Vinci dreamt of, but never heard; there are no historical records suggesting he or anyone else of his time built the instrument he designed.
A sketch and notes in da Vinci’s characteristic inverted script is found in his Codex Atlanticus, a 12-volume collection of his manuscripts and designs for everything from weaponry to flight.

ebuddy
     
Clinically Insane
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Nov 19, 2013, 03:52 AM
 
Yes, awesome.

I object to calling it a piano, though.
     
Clinically Insane
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Nov 19, 2013, 04:12 AM
 
What's the "official" crossover? Using a hammer, or the ability to vary the volume?
     
Clinically Insane
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Nov 19, 2013, 07:02 AM
 
I'm not sure there's an official delineation.

I'd go by the keyboard action (hammers striking whatever, which includes
Rhodes and Wurlitzers, but not clavinet or harpsichord).
Considering that digital pianos are "pianos", I'd then include devices built primarily to emulate those.

From the way this is played and sounds, I'd go with "string organ" or just "keyboard".
     
ebuddy  (op)
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Nov 19, 2013, 07:18 AM
 
It's not even using hammers in the traditional sense. The pedals on the floor of the instrument are used to spin wheels and a strike on the keys moves the strings down onto the wheels as I understand it. This thing is as much a curiosity of art as it is an instrument.

If you haven't visited the link to hear it played, you're missing out.
ebuddy
     
Mac Elite
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Nov 19, 2013, 07:21 AM
 
That's an amazing sound; and what a gorgeous instrument inside.
Very, very cool.
     
Clinically Insane
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Nov 19, 2013, 08:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
It's not even using hammers in the traditional sense. The pedals on the floor of the instrument are used to spin wheels and a strike on the keys moves the strings down onto the wheels as I understand it. This thing is as much a curiosity of art as it is an instrument.
Yes. The spinning wheels are coated with horsehair (just as a violin's bow), and will "bow" the string as it is lowered down onto the wheel by depressing a key.

This is more of a hurdy-gurdy.

Fascinating and beautiful.

Worth noting that several variations of this were built some time ago and made the news then.
     
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Nov 19, 2013, 09:12 AM
 
That's a rather unique sound - like a wet piano being played in a huge cave.
That kooky guy DaVinci, what didn't he do?
"Faster, faster! 'Till the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death." - HST
     
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Nov 21, 2013, 02:28 AM
 
I love the sound of this instrument. Thank you Da Vinci for dreaming it up!
If you need to send me a private message, please send it to brassplayersrock²
     
   
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