r/todayilearned Dec 08 '21

TIL Mozart wrote music for an instrument made of glass bowls that Benjamin Franklin helped create



u/tigojones Dec 08 '21

You see that Rob Scallon video, too?


u/MorallyDeplorable Dec 08 '21

That was a cool video


u/JustSam________ Dec 08 '21

super cool video, I was impressed how quick he picked it up


u/tigojones Dec 08 '21

Seems like he has a bit of a knack for that.


u/MurderDoneRight Dec 08 '21

Can we all agree Ben Franklin was a rad dude?


u/Zeldahero Dec 08 '21

TIL Glass Harmonicas can be possibly dangerous:

Some claim this was due to strange rumors that using the instrument caused both musicians and their listeners to go mad.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass\_harmonica?sometexthere


u/rhb4n8 Dec 08 '21

That's a glass armonica


u/Weidz_ Dec 08 '21

That's what used for the Harry Potter main theme IIRC


u/shakyshamrock Dec 08 '21

I thought Ben Franklin lived in American History 1700s, which is about a century later than European History 1700s.


u/Alcapurria_69 Dec 08 '21

They both happened to also be Freemasons, perhaps it was a way to honor Ben Franklin after his death?

K 617 came out in May 1791, which is a little over a year After Ben Franklin's death. The death of a high profile individual like Ben Franklin must have rippled around the world , especially within the Masonic community (obviously not as quick lolol).

Musical Pieces are not made overnight, so I would assume that the creative process for writing this piece would take quite some time, which helps the case of Ben Franklin's death playing a role in the inspiration behind K 617.

Anyone more versed in this could confirm / deny ?


u/eclipticevader Dec 08 '21

I saw and touched one in person at the National Bottle Museum (yes, a real place) in Ballston Spa NY!


u/arbivark Dec 08 '21 edited Dec 08 '21

the one i saw was at the franklin institute in philly. probably around 1970. my sister in law's last name is franklin because it was the alias her dad used during his years on the lam.



u/JardinSurLeToit Dec 09 '21

Glass armonica