Thursday, 2 May 2019

die theorie des klanges

The ever brilliant Present /&/ Correct has unearthed a trove of cymatic diagrams (from the Greek for wave and hence the study of sound propagating through media or across a membrane) recorded by musician and acoustic pioneer Ernst Florens Friedrich Chladni (*1756 - †1827, previously) produced by examining the way granular materials responded to different sonic influences on vibrating plates. The resulting nodal patterns are collectively referred to as Chladni figures and his battery of research led directly to the conception of a musical instrument called a verrillion (Glasspiel) comprised of beer glasses tuned by volume of liquid and struck with mallets—inspiring a visiting Benjamin Franklin, besotted with the somber character of the sounds produced as ideal for sacred music to create his own glass harmonium.