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glass harmonica

noun
1.
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
1905-1910
1905-10
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for glass-harmonica

glass harmonica

noun
1.
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 Sometimes shortened to harmonica Also called musical glasses
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for glass-harmonica

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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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6
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