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One of those off -the-wall. ideas...

The possibility of constructing free reed instrument that allows the air to rush over the reeds, and play its own melodies, [no help by human fingers at all]  into the ether, as it were! In the same way as the mystical 'Aeolian harp'..

It must be possible, and good use of old concertina parts that may otherwise be scrapped? Perhaps it would need, to a degree, still to have an encased design to contain a reservoir of air? Have a think about it- or have a go at one [or has one already been made]?


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Posted (edited)

It's called the Windharmonika, or Aeolsharfe, and their origins go back 200 years, or more, and before the invention of the concertina.





They've been revived in recent times: https://www.guriema.de/windharmonika.htm


This is the Google translation of the German text:


Aeolian instruments


The idea is old and spread all over the world. The basic principle can already be observed in nature. When a vibratory material is set in motion by the wind, a specific sound event can occur.

If leaf tongues are exposed to the influence of the wind, as in the case of the Aeolian harmonica, you get an instrument for the soloist nature. According to its categorical classification, the Aeolian or wind harmonica is one of the first autophones, mechanical instruments followed much later as relatives - such as the punched-tape-controlled pianolas.

These instruments had their heyday in the Romantic period, but can still be found in the lists of a few instrument makers up until the beginning of this century.

The following can be read in a catalog from the Adolf Klinger company, Reichenberg in Bohemia from 1912:

"Aeolian instruments are those which are not made to sound by the hand of an artist, but speak of themselves by exposure to the effects of a natural current of air or wind. The music thus conjured up has a special appeal to every receptive mind and Depending on the nature of the various Aeolian instruments, resembles either the sympathetic chords of distant choirs and organ tones, or a lovely, melodic chime."

Instruments of this type were probably built between 1920 and 1930 by the Seckendorf company in Markneukirchen.

After more than 60 years, we rediscovered the wind harmonica. Based on old catalog illustrations and the memories of some older citizens, we have made a new and functional instrument within two years. In the meantime, this unusual instrument adorns many a roof in Germany. Among other things, a wind harmonica from our production can be admired on the roof of the musical instrument museum in Markneukirchen and on an old listed powder tower in Großschirma.

Depending on the strength of the wind, the wind harmonica emits humming sounds, at first softly, like distant organ tones, which seem to be getting closer as the wind strength increases, becoming stronger and stronger until they finally ring out in full harmonic chords.

The sheet metal parts are cut by hand, rounded, beaded and then soft soldered. The blade, which automatically turns the instrument in the direction of the wind, is also hand-driven. The reeds are made especially for us in the foam factory in Klingenthal. They are made of a special brass alloy and are ground in individually and riveted to a plate on one side. Therefore, when it is windy, they only react to pressure and not to pressure and tension as with the harmonica.

The elaborate tuning (in A major) is done by hand. Due to the sensitivity of the individual reeds, only the lower tones speak at low wind speeds.

The reed plate is weatherproof and set in a special aluminum frame.

The body made of titanium zinc sheet metal is polished to a high gloss and coated with instrument paint.

All other metal parts are chrome-plated.



Wind harmonica No. 2000


Body made of titanium zinc sheet metal approx. 66 cm long, diameter of the bell 31 cm, weight approx. 4.8 kg, height of the structure max. 107 cm.

The wind harmonica can be equipped with different attachments. Our standard attachment is the lyre.

Depending on your wishes (for an extra charge), the following motifs are possible: pennants with the year or initials, dragon, compass rose or motifs according to personal suggestions.





Edited by Stephen Chambers
Edited to add translation, and photo
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Really fascinating looking objects those Aeolian devices! 

Of course nature can add it's own Aeolian effects; like the  wind blowing over leaves of trees, which can create an eery howling sound, particularly strange to hear late at night! I can remember hearing that tree sound many times; very atmospheric!

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