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Leonardo Da Vinci's wacky piano is heard for the first time, #2442726
07/19/15 01:51 PM
07/19/15 01:51 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,271
Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
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6000 Post Club Member
Piano World  Online Blank OP

6000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,271
Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
© from The Sunday Morning Herald Australia

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


[Linked Image]

A bizarre instrument combining a piano and cello has finally been played to an audience more than 500 years after it was dreamt up Leonardo da Vinci.

Da Vinci, the Italian Renaissance genius who painted the Mona Lisa, invented the ‘‘viola organista’’ - which looks like a baby grand piano – but never built it, experts say.

The viola organista has now come to life, thanks to a Polish concert pianist with a flair for instrument-making and the patience and passion to interpret da Vinci’s plans.

Full of steel strings and spinning wheels, Slawomir Zubrzycki’s creation is a musical and mechanical work of art.


‘‘This instrument has the characteristics of three we know: the harpsichord, the organ and the viola da gamba,’’ Zubrzycki said as he debuted the instrument at the Academy of Music in the southern Polish city of Krakow.



The instrument’s exterior is painted in a rich midnight blue, adorned with golden swirls painted on the side. The inside of its lid is a deep raspberry inscribed with a Latin quote in gold leaf by 12th-century German nun, mystic and philosopher, Saint Hildegard.

‘‘Holy prophets and scholars immersed in the sea of arts both human and divine, dreamt up a multitude of instruments to delight the soul,’’ it says.

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 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 pedal 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.

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.

‘‘I have no idea what Leonardo da Vinci might think of the instrument I’ve made, but I’d hope he’d be pleased,’’ said Zubrzycki, who spend three years and 5000 hours bringing da Vinci’s creation to life.



AFP, with Nick Galvin

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment...-years-20131118-2xpqs.html#ixzz3gMenJPPv





Last edited by Piano World; 07/19/15 01:53 PM.

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Re: Leonardo Da Vinci's wacky piano is heard for the first time, [Re: Piano World] #2444099
07/24/15 02:31 AM
07/24/15 02:31 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 928
Queensland, Australia
backto_study_piano Offline
500 Post Club Member
backto_study_piano  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 928
Queensland, Australia
Interesting, thanks - but I think I'll stick to piano and pipe organ.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Leonardo Da Vinci's wacky piano is heard for the first time, [Re: Piano World] #2766091
09/17/18 05:04 PM
09/17/18 05:04 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 495
North Vancouver
L
Lady Bird Online content
Full Member
Lady Bird  Online Content
Full Member
L

Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 495
North Vancouver
Any dealers interested ?

Re: Leonardo Da Vinci's wacky piano is heard for the first time, [Re: Piano World] #2777203
11/01/18 05:05 AM
11/01/18 05:05 AM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 8
M
Millyz Offline
Junior Member
Millyz  Offline
Junior Member
M

Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 8
interesting indeed...I see why Da Vinci never built it... :crazy:


Used to play...a bit rusty...now I'm back...
Re: Leonardo Da Vinci's wacky piano is heard for the first time, [Re: Piano World] #2779657
11/09/18 09:44 PM
11/09/18 09:44 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 1,071
In the Ozarks of Missouri
NobleHouse Offline
1000 Post Club Member
NobleHouse  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 1,071
In the Ozarks of Missouri
That really was an interesting sound...

Re: Leonardo Da Vinci's wacky piano is heard for the first time, [Re: Piano World] #2779661
11/09/18 10:28 PM
11/09/18 10:28 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,317
Groove On Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Groove On  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,317
I love how it sounds like there are 3 or more musicians playing at the same time - even though it’s just one keyboardist. I kept imagining a few cellists/violinists and an organist playing. Would be interesting to see how a fugue would sound if it was arranged to take advantage of the unique sound.


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