Seraphim and Sugar Plum Fairies, a match made in heaven!

Seraphim and Sugar Plum Fairies, a match made in heaven!

* The Seraphim (Glass Harp, Glass Harmonica) is a musical instrument made of a series of goblets. Each is tuned to a specific pitch (frequency), either permanently by grinding the glass or by filling it with different levels of water. The musician runs a moist or chalk covered finger along the glass rim to get the desired tone.

* Benjamin Franklin invented a mechanical version in 1761. He mounted 37 goblets (differently colored according to pitch) horizontally on a spindle turned by a foot pedal.

* Pink Floyd used the glass harp in Shine On You Crazy Diamond on their album Wish You Were Here .

* In the 18th century, a strange rumor circulated that this music could drive the listener mad! Enjoy at your own peril πŸ™‚


Originally shared by Dave Gambrill


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24 Responses to Seraphim and Sugar Plum Fairies, a match made in heaven!

  1. Rajini Rao says:

    The video is tending to hang up when I test it. If this is happening to you let me know and I’ll repost.

  2. Marc Morales says:

    yeah it’s hanging up for me, i’ll just watch it on youtube

  3. Wow…just wow! My mind wanted to associate the tones with instruments. Violin, Cello, Oboe, Chimes?

  4. Its working wellRajini Rao I adore it πŸ™‚

  5. Jay Gischer says:

    Wonderful. I’m going to have to work really hard to find something to match it.

  6. Joan Hogol says:

    Here you can see the same song played with Franklin invention, glass harmonica (the other video is an glass harp)

    “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” on the Glass Armonica

    About the rumour… in fact it was dangerous for the player, not for the listener. Years ago plumb was used in glass production and plumb is really toxic for the human body.

  7. Amazing! Have reposted on FB and tumblr. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Rajini Rao says:

    Patrick Armstrong , thanks for the link, it’s a great site to check out!

    I hope everyone looking at this post also checks out the *YouTube link posted above by Joan Hogol * : the Franklin “armonica” is a bizarre and beautiful instrument played by Ben Franklin himself (!) πŸ˜‰

    A comment at that site mentioned mercury poisoning from the glass because the musicians licked their fingers to wet them. So perhaps there was some form of crazy toxicity involved from additives to the glass.

    Joan Hogol , what is plumb? Plumbago as in lead (Pb)?

  9. Joan Hogol says:

    Rajini Rao sorry… i mean lead, not ‘plumb’. My english sometimes is … not english πŸ™‚ Yeah i read about lead poisoning but maybe you are right and it’s mercury instead.

  10. Wonderful music, thanks for posting. However, seeing the motion of their hands, reminded me most of the hip-hop scratcher/turntablists music. I have to say I like both kinds. Does that make me a bad person? πŸ™‚

  11. Rajini Rao says:

    Joan Hogol , actually your English was not English..but Latin! I recognized it as lead because the Latin for lead is plumbum, hence the symbol Pb..which every chemist knows is lead! (Plumbago means “like lead” and refers to a little flower (“leadwort”), probably because it is colored lead-blue.) Lead glass and lead crystal could well have been used in the glass harmonica.a possible source of poison. Apparently, whisky and wine stored in lead crystal decanters can get contaminated with lead leaching out of the glass. πŸ™‚

  12. Tom Lee says:

    Rajini Rao Didn’t know “Pink Floyd used the glass harp in Shine On You Crazy Diamond on their album Wish You Were Here . ” Very good insights!. How can I keep up with you ?? I probably will give up! Haha

  13. Rajini Rao says:

    Tom Lee , but you have your uncle’s amazing vinyl collection so you are way ahead of everyone. A worthy match for any classical rock fan. Not to put pressure, but you do know that tomorrow is Friday? πŸ˜‰

  14. Tom Lee says:

    Rajini,I sure do. Have to buy my uncle a Strarbucks latte so I can pick his brain! πŸ™‚

  15. Rajini Rao says:

    Tom Lee , this uncle needs to be on G+, I would circle him instantly and pick his brain too! Starbucks is a good idea, as long as he does not have any prosthetic parts πŸ˜‰

  16. Tom Lee says:

    Rajini Rao He hates computer stuff. He’s more into reading Scientific American and the likes…convincing him to join G+ would be a daunting task. He doesn’t know what FB is…No he is athletic for his age. He still likes to go fishing and golfing. LOL

  17. Joan Hogol says:

    Rajini Rao, my first language is catalan (a romance language). The catalan for lead is ‘plom’, pretty similar to latin ‘plumbum’. And ‘plumb’… well, for some reason i was sure that was the english word for lead. I was too lazy to verify it with the dictionary. That’s why my father always told me ‘don’t be lazy, son’ πŸ™‚

  18. Rajini Rao says:

    Joan Hogol , your father is right. You never know when one’s path may cross with an English speaking, Latin loving biochemist of Indian origin. πŸ™‚

  19. Wow! Thank you for sharing this beautiful and pleasant music πŸ™‚

  20. Surprised over the similarity. East or west, the quest to find rhythm in everything by watching nature seems to have brought out the best – this clip may interest you JALTARANG

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