Glass Harp: Toccata and Fugue in D


Glass harp is a simple idea: fill up a some wine glasses with water, “setting” each varying how much water is in (because the pitch at which said glass will change depend on the level of water inside) .

You can make a new kind of glass harp with a single glass.

It works like a typical glass harp. Just gently rub the wet finger around the rim, and voila! You get a haunting, ethereal tone. Put a bunch of glasses tuned to a musical scale with and you can play recognizable songs as the theme of love from Doctor Zhivago. Here, the Grace Hart adds a touch of extra decoration to ring a bell for emphasis. Except that you do not need all these glasses to work magic.

New Scientist says in a new paper in Physical Review E analyzes the acoustics behind glass harp by a couple of individuals. In the process, he came with an inverted version of the traditional instrument: an empty glass of wine submerged in a basin filled with water. Basically, the same mathematical equations work for both versions of the glass harp: single glass is a mirror image of the traditional glass harp.

Even better, you need only a glass of wine instead of a whole series of precisely tuned glasses – so it’s not a total disaster, if your fellow beauty queens thirsty and drink up your talent just before the final competition. With the inverted glass harp, varying the pitch, moving the glass up and down in the water. It is the depth of the plunger defining the resonant frequency in this case. The two physicists – Daniel Quinn and Brian Rosenberg – even managed to crank out some of the “bar Mary had a little lamb”.

Fun historic event: the first glass harp was the creation of a 18th century Irish guy called Richard Pockrich (or Poekrich, Puckeridge, or Pokeridge – peoples in the 18th century was a little sloppy about spelling, even in official records.). He called it the “angelic organ.” Pockrich began a life privilege inherits a decent amount to 25, but does not have much of a head for business – or luck in speculative operations. Try increasing geese, building an observatory (was a fan of astrology), he had a crazy scheme for a series of channels that connect rivers Liffey and Shannon, and lost two separate runs for Parliament. He married late, at age 50, but his wife ran away with an actor.

But one of his failures – a brewery in Dublin – it’s biggest success. He was about to be arrested as a debtor and sent to prison, but entranced local bailiffs with an impromptu performance in recently discovered glass harp. He got away, and ended up having a great music career late in life, touring around England plays of Misfortune caught up with him again, unfortunately “angelic organ. ‘He died in a London fire in 1759, and his instrument were lost in the flames.

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