aeolian harp

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aeolian harp

a stringed instrument that produces a musical sound when a current of air or wind passes over the strings

Aeolian Harp


(1) A stringed instrument. The aeolian harp is a narrow wooden box, equipped with sound holes, that serves as a resonator; eight to 13 strings of varying thicknesses, all tuned in unison, are stretched inside the box. The instrument was positioned on the roof of a house, where wind caused the strings to vibrate and produce various harmonics over the same fundamental. The sound ranged, depending on the force of the wind, from a low, gentle tone to a quite loud one. The aeolian harp has been known since the tenth century.

(2) In Russia, the name of an instrument with vibrating metal reeds and a round, flared opening, or bell; a type of accordion. First made in St. Petersburg in the early 19th century, the instrument was later produced in other cities of Russia as well.

Aeolian harp

musical instrument activated by winds. [Gk. Myth.: Jobes, 40]
See: Wind
References in periodicals archive ?
Doug Hollis's Aeolian Harp straddles a wind tunnel created by Piers 15 and 17 on the Exploratorium's new site.
There's the splendid Aeolian harp, made by Arthur Troyte Griffith (Enigma Variation No 7) from Elgar's Hereford house, his betting book, golf clubs, microscopes and cycling maps - it is said he knew every hedgerow for miles round.
This is no Romantic aeolian harp set into natural music by a breeze.
Each treehouse design is unique--a magic rocket ship designed by a seven-year old, an inspirational feng-shui garden, a whimsical flower fort, a bamboo pavilion with movable walls, a pinwheel windcatcher, a recycled and re-born retreat, a humming Aeolian harp, a Greek sandbox and a treehouse illuminated by LED lights powered by solar panels.
Two electric motors were gently (and seemingly randomly) driving devices to pluck a series of strings - the Aeolian Harp for the 21st Century.