Friday, August 7, 2009

Behold, the Katzenklavier!

[The cats] be arranged in a row with their tails stretched behind them. And a keyboard fitted out with sharpened nails would be set over them. The struck cats would provide the sound. A fugue played on this instrument--when the ill person is so placed that he cannot miss the expression on their faces and the play of these animals--must bring Lot's wife herself from her fixed state into conscious awareness.

Imagine a piano.

Remove all the strings and replace them with cats.

Arrange the cats in a chromatic scale.

When you press a key, a pin hits the designated cat.

Behold, the Katzenklavier!

[caption id="attachment_667" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="This is the kind of thing people did for entertainment before television and the internet."]This is the kind of thing[/caption]

Created in the 17th century by Athanasius Kircher, this instrument was invented with the initial purpose of waking up catatonic patients. It was actually built and used for entertainment purposes.

Here's the Wikipedia page. Follow the references at the bottom of the page for additional information on this crazy contraption.