After 500 years, the master artist Leonardo Da Vinci finally had his dream came true. It was quite bizarre to dream of an instrument that combines both piano and cello. The Italian Renaissance genius Da Vinci, who was known for his Mona Lisa painting, invented an instrument he called “the Viola Organista.” After 500 years, it was played in public for the very first time.
According to experts, this baby grand piano looking instrument was never built by Da Vinci. It was through the effort of Polish concert pianist Slawomir Zubrzycki that the Viola Organista came to life. His instrument making flair along with passion and patience to interpret the plan of Da Vinci, allowed him to create a mechanical and musical work of art that is full of spinning wheels and steel strings.
According to Zubrzycki, this invention has the character of three known instruments: the organ, harpsichord and viola da gamba. He said this in the Academy of Music in the southern Polish city of Krakow where he debuted the instrument.
The exterior painting of the instrument is colored in vibrant midnight blue with golden swirls painted on the side. An inscription in the deep raspberry is found inside its lid, written in gold leaf. The quotation was from Saint Hildegard, a German Nun, philosopher, and mystic in the 12th century.
The inscription says, ‘‘Holy prophets and scholars immersed in the sea of arts both human and divine, dreamt up a multitude of instruments to delight the soul.’’
Golden spruce is lined with its interior’s flatbed. It is more like a baby grand because of the sixty-one shimmering strings running across it. Each string has a connection to the keyboard that is complete including black keys for flat and sharp notes. However, this is not like the regular piano that has hammered dulcimers to strike the strings. Instead, it has four spinning wheels with horsetail wrapped around it, like the bows of a violin.
Turning the wheels requires pumping the pedal which is connected to the crankshaft located below the keyboard. The strings inside are pressed down onto the wheels while tinkling the keys, thus emitting sonorous, rich tones similar to the sound of a cello, an accordion, and an organ.
The instrument creates a sound that was long dreamt of by Da Vinci but didn’t get the chance to hear it in his lifetime.