- Leonardo Da Vinci’s wacky piano is heard for the first time, after 500 years:
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.
I’ve been moved to tears by this. This is stunning, and I am so glad that people care about classical artists, literature, and music and continue to live vicariously through the art and dreams of long-dead individuals. I hope wherever Da Vinci is he is seeing this somehow.
instead of printing it off just use this blank thing…
damn science you scary
In eighth grade we were assigned elements to do a report on—we had to make an element-themed costume and everything. The teacher limited the number of elements we could choose (so atomic number 112 that’s only stable in a laboratory setting wouldn’t become the subject of a twelve year old’s five-page paper, I think) so it was suddenly down to a handful of kids and a handful of options. She asked one boy which he wanted, and he said “Whichever one makes the biggest explosion.”
Man oh Mandarin, that’s a great trilogy.
MARYS. BRITTANY. NICK. LOOOOOOOK
the fact that there are animals who can see colors that i cant which means that there are colors that exist that it is literally impossible for me to envision is such fucking bullshit that i wanna rip open a couch and eat it
i’m gonna fREAKIN CRY
If I could go back and hug anyone ever it would be him, his story was so tragic
"The Pope doesn’t come over to where you work and slap Jamie Dimon’s dick out of your mouth" made me guffaw.
Saw this posted on my facebook this morning and just had to share. It continually amazes me how many people here on tumblr and elsewhere in the world continue to think the answer to racism is more racism…or that racism against white people is somehow “justified” or “doesn’t count as racism.”
Not only do white people think you’re full of shit, but so do your fellow POC.
Watch the video it is really good.
get outta here, birdie!!
What are you doing. What are you doing. What have you done.
you’re telling me i can make BLACK SLUDGE THAT TASTES LIKE OREOS!?
PRETEND IT’S LEVIATHAN BLOOD
There are two kinds of people….
I RESENT THAT LEVIATHAN COMMENT SIR/MADAME.
wait for him…
gimme dat thing
cause of death: this shit
jensen sometimes does this thing where he’s half smiling but he’s a little distracted by whoever he’s talking to and his tongue kind of just rests between his teeth and it’s very slowly
ruining m y life
hOW DO YOU EVEN NOTICE THAT
If I may redirect your attention.
The Hobbit DoS premiere… Or that time when a bunch of manly men took selfies and photobombed eachothers.
okay this picture has me laughing omg