This video captures a performance by Slawomir Zubrzycki on the Viola Organista – an instrument originally designed by Leonardo da Vinci 500 years ago.
The keyboard combines elements of the harpsichord, organ and viola da gamba. The performer pumps a pedal that turns a crankshart. When keys are depressed, turning wheels press against strings, creating the sound of a string ensemble.
The instrument was apparently never realized in da Vinci’s day, but is reminiscent of the Wheelharp that we covered earlier in the year.
Check out the performance demo – and let us know what you think of the Viola Organista!
via Ben Jarvis, smh