Mr. Gary has developed a unique performance and educational program for schools and churches. These clinics teach all about Musical Glasses, or the Glass Harp, a musical instrument that is a collection of drinking glasses, each chosen for their pitch or musical note. Glasses can also be tuned using water to obtain certain pitches. Glasses can be played by wetting ones fingers and carefully rubbing the rims of the glasses, using friction to make music. During the program Mr. Gary along with his wife Rufina (Rufina Martin Gary is also a fine pianist and piano teacher), perform music of different styles and periods. The program explores musical instruments made from everyday materials, the history of glass and water-tuned music, and related concepts of physics and sound. Questions and song requests are welcome toward the end of the assembly.

Musical Glasses - History and Music

The program explores the science of sound and elementary physics related to sound and musical instruments. Students are exposed to demonstration of how sound is generated, what 'waves' of sound are, what 'frequency' of sound waves means, the relationship between vibration and sound, and various ways sound frequency can be manipulated, especially in the example of water-tunes instruments. The concept of friction is explored to demonstrate how water glasses can be played.

Discuss the life and times of Dr. Benjamin Franklin. Statesman, Inventor, Writer, and musician! Dr. Franklin's philosophy was to 'work smart.' How, in inventing the armonica, did he make an instrument that was more accessible to the public? NOTE: Benjamin Franklin's armonica took musical glasses a step further: He had glasses custom-built for him in exact pitches and sizes, with no stems (so they ended up resembling a progression of smaller and smaller bowls), and a hole in the center bottoms for a spindle to go through. Mounted sideways on the spindle and stacked together without quite touching, the rims were each less than an inch apart. As the spindle turned, all the glasses rotated. The musicians wet their hands and pressed their fingers against the turning bowls and voila! There was music.

The Performance

Various pieces arranged for Musical Glasses will be performed in all different styles to show just how beautiful the instrument is, whether performing classical or more contemporary music.

Student Participation

Students are given the opportunity to play musical glasses, as well as a question and answer time.

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