Erik Satie: Gnossienne No. 1, glass harp

The glass armonica was invented by Benjamin Franklin. He used to play Scottish airs on it along with his wife Debbie on her violin. His original glass armonica is in the museum in Philadelphia. The instrument has rows of glasses that turn on a trundle you spin with your foot.

The more traditional means of recreating “glass” music is up top with a rendition of Satie’s Gymnopédie No. 1 on a glass harp.

And what brought this on? I have been an avid reader since childhood. Among a few other similar providers of literature, new and old, my parents belonged to a service called (as I recall) the Detective Book Club.

At present, I’m indulging my pleasure at bingeing TV mystery series – returning to the prequels to “Inspector Morse” – Morse’s early years on the police force in Oxford prior to achieving the rank of Inspector. This evening, I watched Season 4, Episode 1 of “Endeavor” – entitled “Game”.

The introduction to the episode rolled out with a musician playing a version of the glass harmonica built of glass tubes. Same concept, same sound, as Franklin’s original. He played Satie’s Gnossienne No. 1 (which I’ve always known as Gymnopédie No.1.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.