Slawomir Zubrzycki spent from 2009 to 2012 reconstructing Leonardo’s viola organista based on an illustration in the Codex Atlanticus, a 12-volume collection of the artist and inventor’s ideas on topics that range from botany to weapons to music. As the Sydney Morning Herald reported, the instrument appears much like a piano, but its mechanics are quite different, which is why you might look twice if you see someone playing what seems like a standard piano while the sounds are that of a stringed instrument.
The flat bed of its interior is lined with golden spruce. Sixty-one gleaming steel strings run across it, similar to the inside of a baby grand. Each one is connected to the keyboard complete with smaller black keys for sharp and flat notes. But unlike a piano, it has no hammered dulcimers.Instead, there are four spinning wheels wrapped in horse tail hair, like violin bows. To turn them, Zubrzycki pumps a peddle below the keyboard connected to a crankshaft.
As he tinkles the keys, they press the strings down onto the wheels emitting rich, sonorous tones reminiscent of a cello, an organ and even an accordion. 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.
Hear Zubrzycki perform on the Viola Organista in the embedded video below:
An interview with Slawomir Zubrzycki can be viewed at thisiscolossal.com
Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
Learn resistor values with Mho’s Resistance or get the best electronics calculator for engineers “Circuit Playground” – Adafruit’s Apps!
Maker Business — Alibaba to invest $15b in tech, set up research labs around the world
Wearables — Special servo movement
Electronics — Trigger happy oscilloscope?
Biohacking — Biohacking: Visioneer – AI Glasses to Assist the Visually Impaired
No comments yet.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.