Viola organista designed by #da Vinci heard for first time in 500 years

Photo from Wikimedia commons in the public domain as copyright has expired
Photo from Wikimedia commons in the public domain due to its age

I came across a very interesting article recently about Leonardo da Vinci’s musical instrument known as the viola organista, an instrument comprised of elements of a piano and a cello.

Apparently, the inventor never built the instrument he designed. According to Wikipedia, Leonardo’s original idea, as preserved in his notebooks of 1488–1489 and in the drawings in the Codex Atlanticus, was to use one or more wheels, continuously rotating, each of which pulled a looping bow, rather like a fanbelt in an automobile engine, and perpendicular to the instrument’s strings. The strings would be pushed downward into the bow by the action of the keys, causing the moving bow to sound the pitch of the string.

The viola organista has now come to life, thanks to a Polish concert pianist with a flair for instrument-making and the patience and passion to interpret da Vinci’s plans. Full of steel strings and spinning wheels, Slawomir Zubrzycki’s creation is a musical and mechanical work of art.

Read more:

I read more about this recent historic performance of the instrument in related article: and within that article, I found this link to the video:

Ci sentiamo presto,

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