Check Out the 500 Year Old Viola Organista Design by Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci – before he was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle – was many things. Sculptor. Painter. Scientist. Inventor. Lover? Anyway, he was one of the most brilliant minds the planet has seen, and he had some code that even Tom Hanks took awhile to crack. If you’re keeping track at home, that’s 2 terrible pop culture references about Leo in 2 sentences. In an amazingly interesting development, a 500 year old musical instrument design by Leonardo da Vinci has been built and even performed in concert by Polish concert pianist (and handy dandy instrument builder) Slawomir Zubrzycki.

viola organista via YouTube screen cap
The instrument was apparently never built but has now been made, 500 years later. It’s called the viola organista, and is a piano-like instrument that produces a sound that is a mix of piano, violin, harpsichord, and organ. This seems like it would be right up Jonny Greenwood’s alley, knowing his love for bringing obscure instruments to Radiohead (ondes martenot anyone?). Check out the fascinating creation below.

Viola organista made by Sławomir Zubrzycki

(via Slate)

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