Tromba Marina

I just know you need a Tromba Marina. Don’t we all?

A tromba marina (or trumpet marine) is probably one of the more unusual instruments that was ever invented. Fantastic as it may seem, it is a legitimate instrument, and enjoyed a brief Golden Age in the first half of the eighteenth century. The tromba marina’s innocent ancestor was the monochord, a single stringed instrument used in medieval monasteries to rediscover the physics of sound, and later to find pitches (the functional precursor to the piano, in that respect). At some point, the monochord acquired the tromba marina’s most distinctive feature: a vibrating bridge. When played with a bow, the vibration of the string causes one foot of the bridge to vibrate against the soundboard, creating a brassy buzz. Add to this the fact that you play high harmonics on the long string, and you’ve got yourself a trumpet. Almost. It truly has to be heard to be believed. [continue]

Now, watch, and listen.


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