Physical Organology (physics-based musical instrument classification)
The bubble organ is a musical instrument built by Aaron Wendel, and
is made out of pieces of old furniture, wood and rain gutters
collected from the alleys and dumpsters around his apartment.
The hydraulophone sounds similar to a glass armonica but has a
darker, heavier sound, that extends down into the subsonic range.
Embouchure is controlled by way of the instrument's mouths, not the
player's mouth such that the player can sing along with the
hydraulophone (i.e. a player can sing and play the instrument at the
same time). Moreover, the instrument provides the unique capability
of polyphonic embouchure, where a player can dynamically "sculpt"
each note by the shape and position of each finger inserted into
each of the mouths. For example, the sound is different when
fingering the center of a water jet than when fingering the water
jet near the periphery of the circular mouth's opening.
The instrument's popularity did not last far beyond the 18th
century. Some claim this was due to strange rumors that using the
instrument caused both musicians and their listeners to go mad.
The harmonica excessively stimulates the nerves, plunges the player
into a nagging depression and hence into a dark and melancholy mood
that is apt method for slow self-annihilation. If you are suffering
from any kind of nervous disorder, you should not play it; if you
are not yet ill you should not play it; if you are feeling
melancholy you should not play it.
- Friedrich Rochlitz ,
The glass harmonica is also used for Spock's theme on the soundtrack of the 1991 film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, composed by Cliff Eidelman.
A modern version of the "purported dangers" claims that players
suffered lead poisoning because armonicas were made of lead
glass. However, there is no known scientific basis for the theory
that merely touching lead glass can cause lead
poisoning. Furthermore, historical replicas by Eisch use so-called
'White Crystal' replacing the lead with a higher potash content,
many modern devices, such as those made by Finkenbeiner, are made
from pure silica glass.
Oror Alisa on the glass harmonica
The somewhat disorienting quality of the ethereal sound is due in
part to the way that humans perceive and locate ranges of
sounds. Above 4,000 Hertz we primarily use the volume of the sound
to differentiate between each ear (left and right) and thus
triangulate, or locate, the source. Below 1,000 Hertz we use the
'phase differences' of sound waves arriving at our ears to identify
left and right for location. The predominant timbre of the armonica
is in the range of 1,000ā4,000 hertz, which coincides with the sound
range where the brain is 'not quite sure' and thus we have
difficulty locating it in space (where it comes from), and
referencing the source of the sound (the materials and techniques
used to produce it).
"Galileo, Galilei". Passage from 'Two New Sciences' by Galileo about
the 'wet finger around the wine glass' phenomenon (1638). Archived
from the original on February 10, 2007. Retrieved January 16, 2007.
Since 2008, Jean-Loup Dierstein, with the support of Maurice
Martenot's son, has been developing a new, officially named ondes
Martenot instrument based on the model used when production stopped
oratorio, Jeanne d'Arc au būcher
- apocrphya http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmREjs6NYVY