Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mozart's Mysterious Magical Music Machine

Mozart's original score for The Magic Flute called for a glass harmonica (pictured) or keyed glockenspiel to represent the set of magic bells. These instruments, rare even in Mozart's time, no longer exist today.
(Modern day orchestras use a Celeste to recreate this sound).

When the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra programmed music from The Magic Flute they had no idea what they would do. See, the Brandenburg Orchestra plays on period instruments. But with some ingenuity and a whole lot of research it seems they might have solved a 200 year old mystery.



The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

2 comments:

Patty said...

I played a work by Mozart that used this instrument and there was something used that looks similar to what you show above. So I think they do exist ... but I'm sure they are rare! (I have a recording of our performance ... I'm going to have to search for it now that you've brought this up, as I nearly forgot about it!)

San Diego Opera said...

Patty, yes the picture is of a glass harmonica - it was Ben Frannklin that invented it but those still exist. Rumored to cause insanity. Find out for yourself by playing a virtual one...

http://sln.fi.edu/franklin/musician/virtualarmonica.html