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(YouTube)   The viola organista, "a bizarre instrument combining a piano and cello," designed by Da Vinci 500 years ago, had never been constructed or played. Until now   (youtube.com) divider line 29
    More: Cool, da Vinci  
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3185 clicks; posted to Video » on 18 Nov 2013 at 5:16 PM (40 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



29 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-11-18 05:17:10 PM
This is what happens when you let patents expire, people. Da Vinci's heirs are getting ripped off.
 
2013-11-18 05:19:47 PM
Original blueprints by Bergholdt Stuttley Johnson.
 
2013-11-18 05:24:26 PM
That is a suite instrument.
 
2013-11-18 05:25:01 PM

Tim Tebow: That is a suite instrument.


I would like to add it to my collection.
 
2013-11-18 05:28:33 PM
FREEBIRD!
 
2013-11-18 05:29:32 PM
Farking viola organistas, how do they work?

i0.kym-cdn.com

*Watches video*

The question remains.
 
2013-11-18 05:29:46 PM
I wish the video better explained how it works.  It looks like the strings are strung across something that looks similar to a cello bridge, but no explanation of the action.  Is it a hammer or bow mechanism?  It sounds bowed, but I can't imagine how you could get a machine to do that correctly.  Anyone who has ever tried to play a stringed instrument that is bowed will tell you that proper bowing technique is difficult to master and requires a deft and subtle touch.
 
2013-11-18 05:38:30 PM

Samsquantch: I wish the video better explained how it works.  It looks like the strings are strung across something that looks similar to a cello bridge, but no explanation of the action.  Is it a hammer or bow mechanism?  It sounds bowed, but I can't imagine how you could get a machine to do that correctly.  Anyone who has ever tried to play a stringed instrument that is bowed will tell you that proper bowing technique is difficult to master and requires a deft and subtle touch.


A little closer view than across a crowded room would have been nice too. Also, why film the freaking audience and whats with the random "soap opera style" wipes?
 
2013-11-18 05:41:40 PM

Prophet of Loss: Samsquantch: I wish the video better explained how it works.  It looks like the strings are strung across something that looks similar to a cello bridge, but no explanation of the action.  Is it a hammer or bow mechanism?  It sounds bowed, but I can't imagine how you could get a machine to do that correctly.  Anyone who has ever tried to play a stringed instrument that is bowed will tell you that proper bowing technique is difficult to master and requires a deft and subtle touch.

A little closer view than across a crowded room would have been nice too. Also, why film the freaking audience and whats with the random "soap opera style" wipes?


There is a closer view, near the end around 9:35, but it doesn't really show the mechanism all that well.
 
2013-11-18 05:42:22 PM

Samsquantch: I wish the video better explained how it works.  It looks like the strings are strung across something that looks similar to a cello bridge, but no explanation of the action.  Is it a hammer or bow mechanism?  It sounds bowed, but I can't imagine how you could get a machine to do that correctly.  Anyone who has ever tried to play a stringed instrument that is bowed will tell you that proper bowing technique is difficult to master and requires a deft and subtle touch.


This might help. A "bow" wheel under the strings is in continuous rotation, pumped by a sewing machine type drive, and the strings are lowered to touch the wheel, resulting in sound.
 
2013-11-18 05:58:04 PM

ZMugg: Farking viola organistas, how do they work?

[i0.kym-cdn.com image 640x359]

*Watches video*

The question remains.


Yep.... Sounds cool, but really BFD, until I see how it works.
 
2013-11-18 06:13:00 PM
From Wikipedia:

In 2004, a modern reconstruction of the viola organista by Akio Obuchi was used in a concert in Genoa, Italy.

So, not quite the *first* time in modern history.  Still pretty uncommon though.
 
2013-11-18 06:41:11 PM
Google image search reveals that it seems to work like a hurdy gurdy.
There are rosined wheels inside providing the bowing action, but I am still unclear about how the notes are sounded or muted.
 
2013-11-18 06:45:50 PM

Theaetetus: Samsquantch: I wish the video better explained how it works.  It looks like the strings are strung across something that looks similar to a cello bridge, but no explanation of the action.  Is it a hammer or bow mechanism?  It sounds bowed, but I can't imagine how you could get a machine to do that correctly.  Anyone who has ever tried to play a stringed instrument that is bowed will tell you that proper bowing technique is difficult to master and requires a deft and subtle touch.

This might help. A "bow" wheel under the strings is in continuous rotation, pumped by a sewing machine type drive, and the strings are lowered to touch the wheel, resulting in sound.


So, hurdy gurdy-ish, then.
 
2013-11-18 06:59:09 PM

Samsquantch: I wish the video better explained how it works.  It looks like the strings are strung across something that looks similar to a cello bridge, but no explanation of the action.  Is it a hammer or bow mechanism?  It sounds bowed, but I can't imagine how you could get a machine to do that correctly.  Anyone who has ever tried to play a stringed instrument that is bowed will tell you that proper bowing technique is difficult to master and requires a deft and subtle touch.


I wish the video had been filmed and edited by somebody with half a brain. Egads, that was terrible.

The only way they could have made it worse would be if they did it vertically.

Still shots of the inside of the instrument, while music is playing... why on EARTH would anybody want to, I dunno... maybe see the thing in ACTION while it is playing? Why were there seemingly random blackouts of the video? Why were we treated to so many shots of the ceiling? How about a few shots of his hands as they played?
 
2013-11-18 07:41:51 PM

dahmers love zombie: Original blueprints by Bergholdt Stuttley Johnson.


What a bloody stupid name.
 
2013-11-18 08:11:33 PM
rather novel toy, too bad we didn't expand on his war machines instead...
 
2013-11-18 09:15:41 PM
Theaetetus:

This might help. A "bow" wheel under the strings is in continuous rotation, pumped by a sewing machine type drive, and the strings are lowered to touch the wheel, resulting in sound.
Mills Novelty Company, in the early 1900's, made a player violin/piano combo, called the Violano-Virtuoso.  It is quite a machine to see in action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kN8KOutWXg
 
2013-11-18 09:21:00 PM

Thosw: dahmers love zombie: Original blueprints by Bergholdt Stuttley Johnson.

What a bloody stupid name.


It's pronounced "Throatwarbler Mangrove", I believe.
 
2013-11-18 10:05:53 PM
sure, it can bow the strings, but i wonder if the player presses a key how long the sound would last?
and I bet it could not match the emotion of an individual violin player.
or the unique, haunting, retro sound of the mellotron.

Then again, this is a genius instrument. Virtually renders a string quartet (or a quartet doubled or tripled) useless. And it sounded pretty !
 
2013-11-18 10:09:39 PM

dahmers love zombie: Original blueprints by Bergholdt Stuttley Johnson.


I doubt it, as it didn't explode, maim the player, or otherwise do anything out of the ordinary.

Unless the plans started out as a device for peeling potatoes, of course.
 
2013-11-18 10:21:14 PM
Lurch has one and he plays it sublime. Gentleman that he is, Lurch will gladly permit a guest to visually inspect the viola organista as he plays, but his narrative falls short.
 
2013-11-19 12:23:11 AM

NightSteel: From Wikipedia:

In 2004, a modern reconstruction of the viola organista by Akio Obuchi was used in a concert in Genoa, Italy.

So, not quite the *first* time in modern history.  Still pretty uncommon though.


Actually, from what I could find, that line in Wikipedia is false, or at least not completely true.  Akio Obuchi has built several string keyboard instruments including some for the concert in Genoa (part of a festival for Leonardo Da Vinci), but they didn't use the same design as this one.
  The one he built for the concert was a Streichklavier, which uses an endless belt instead of bows on flywheels.  My source for this info is his own website which is the the citation for the sentence before the one you posted: However, I admittedly can not find clear definitions making distinctions between a viola organista, Streichklavier and a Geigenwerk.

From Obuchi's website: "In the Leonardo's manuscript, ideas for the viola organista including a reciprocal bow, a circular disk and en endless belt are illustrated. This time an instrument with endless belts, Streichklavier, was constructed. In contrust with the previously made Geigenwerk, the Streichklavier has a flat shaped soundboard bridge,instead of convex shaped one.".

 Here's a video of one of his instruments from that festival using a hand crank to drive the belts, which labels it a Viola Organista.

As for the Viola Organista in this video, here's a brief AFP news report about it which does briefly show some of the mechanism in action.

The mechanisms in those two videos look similar, so it may be that the device Obuchi made is a "Viola Organista" and this new one is the first full size instrument to be played in concert.
 
2013-11-19 12:33:58 AM
 
2013-11-19 03:13:57 AM
So.... DaVinci up-scaled a Hurdy Gurdy ?
 
2013-11-19 04:31:11 AM

Rising_Zan_Samurai_Gunman: And this article has a lot more detail on the actual instrument including its construction.


I can't place the last piece played (along with the still photos). It's a Bach or Mozart, I think. Gah. Senior moment.
 
2013-11-19 09:56:10 AM
it is a set of offset rotating wheels that work individually like a hurdy gurdy, but with strings held above each wheel in an arc.  Pushing a key lowers the string onto the wheel.  Pretty neat gizmo.
 
2013-11-19 11:16:44 AM
This is what happens when you let patents expire, people. Da Vinci's heirs are getting ripped off.

There are no heirs. His patrons ay have to start another war over this, however.
 
2013-11-19 04:13:34 PM

JaeSharp: Da Vinci's heirs are getting ripped off.


One of the perqs of having a last name.
 
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