weekend silliness: painful music
I watched Terry Gilliam’s The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and the scene in which the Turk plays the man-piano reminded me of a strange contraption called the cat piano, which I saw on the Kircher Society blog, which is sadly no longer exists when I checked today. Too bad. I learned some odd facts from that blog – for example, did you know that they used to clear clogs from Paris sewers with a gigantic ball placed before the clog? The built up water pressure would propel the ball into the clog and obliterate it.
But I digress. When a key is pressed on the cat piano, intead of a hammer striking a string, a nail jabs the tail of a cat, who yowls with increasing desperation as the “song” goes on. The cats were arranged according to pitch of voice. Apparently this was built for the amusement of a sad prince.