Slawomir Zubrzyck performs on his viola organista.
Just when you thought you knew how brilliant da Vinci was, you find out he was even smarter. Painter, sacred geometer, scientist, flight engineer, aaaaaaannnd musician.
As if all his other accomplishments were not impressive enough, it should be noted that according to his early biographers, Leonardo da Vinci was also a “brilliant musician,” who was a talented player of the lira da braccio.
According to award-winning biographer and author, Charles Nicholl, Leonardo must “have excelled” since the biographers “the Anonimo” and Vasari insisted Leonardo:
”...went to Milan, probably in early 1482, [where] he was presented to the Milanese court not as a painter or technologist, but as a musician.”The lira da braccio was not the lyre of ancient antiquity, but rather a forerunner to the violin. Leonardo excelled at playing this instrument, and was, according to Vasari:
”...the most skilled improviser in verse of his time.”
In addition to all those flying machines, he made up plans for crazy musical instruments, including the viola organista. And Polish concert pianist Slawomir Zubrzyck has gone to the great trouble of building one.
Full of steel strings and spinning wheels, Slawomir Zubrzycki’s creation is a musical and mechanical work of art.
‘‘This instrument has the characteristics of three we know: the harpsichord, the organ and the viola da gamba,’’ Zubrzycki said as he debuted the instrument at the Academy of Music in the southern Polish city of Krakow.
. . .
The effect is a sound that da Vinci dreamt of, but never heard; there are no historical records suggesting he or anyone else of his time built the instrument he designed.