glass harmonica

glass harmonica

noun
a musical instrument composed of a set of graduated, revolving glass bowls, the rims of which are moistened and set in vibration by friction from the fingertips.

Origin:
1905–10

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To glass harmonica
Collins
World English Dictionary
glass harmonica
 
n
Sometimes shortened to: harmonica, Also called: musical glasses a musical instrument of the 18th century consisting of a set of glass bowls of graduated pitches, played by rubbing the fingers over the moistened rims or by a keyboard mechanism

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

glass harmonica

musical instrument consisting of a set of graduated, tuned glass bowls sounded by the friction of wetted fingers on their rims. It was invented by Benjamin Franklin and was derived from the verillon (musical glasses), a set of glasses, holding different amounts of water and thus yielding different notes, placed on a soundboard and rubbed by moistened fingers or, rarely, struck with rods. The German composer Christoph Willibald Gluck performed his concerto for this instrument in London in 1746.

Learn more about glass harmonica with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature