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Uncommon Musical Instruments Part 2
The Nyckelharpa is something of a cross between a violin and a Hurdy Gurdy, in that it uses key-actuated tangents to change the pitch, like the Hurdy Gurdy, and bow and strings like a violin. The Nyckelharpa is a traditional Swedish instrument that has been around since the 1400's and maybe even as early as the 1300's.
It may have a similar sound to the violin, but if you listen closely you can hear the difference. There is a sweetness to the melody that will have you swaying along to the tune. have you ever been ill and upon recovering, you were made to consume liquids only? Soon you begin to long for food with real substance, something you can really sink your teeth into. And when that time comes, and you bite into a piece of meat done to perfection, just the way you like it...so wonderful, you can almost taste it with your whole body! well, that is almost what it is like the difference between a violin and a nyckelharpa...The nyckelharpa has so much more substance to it, so much more depth to it. Sadly it also looks like it would also be a lot harder to learn how to play as well as a lot harder to manage.
The Hydraulophone doesn't have the history of the Nyckelharpa. It is however, still a fascinating instrument, if somewhat messy one. I am not sure just how the Hydraulophone works, but it is similar to the way a woodwind instrument works, and is in fact called a woodwater instrument. Even if it is not made of wood.
Like a woodwind instrument, when air is blown through the tube, notes are made by blocking the holes, only in this case you block the flow of water from the holes instead of air. You can change the pitch of the note simply by how you place your finger over the hole, whether over the center or just on the edge. A physics based organology system had to be introduced in order for the Hydraulophone to play in orchestras as it did not quite fit in with normal instruments. It has uses other than musical, in fact, I think it was first used for engineering purposes, though I could be wrong about that.