The Armonica became immensely popular in the eighteenth century, inspired the development of several concert virtuosos, and was considered worthy of music composed specifically for it by the outstanding composers of the time, including Mozart and Beethoven. The poignant and ingratiating Romance in G Beethoven composed for Johann Duncker's 1814 play Leonora Prohaska called specifically for the glass armonica.
The Armonica with a few later refinements is still used today. Recordings are available, and modern performers such as Bruno Hoffmann, specialize in the instrument.
The sound made by the glass armonica is haunting, delicate, and unforgettable. Hearing contemporary stereo recordings, it is not difficult to understand why composers were moved to ensnare some of their melodies in that romantic sound.
Franklin, The Musician
Franklin studied music as he did everything else, intensely, and made himself something more than an amateur enthusiast. He approached music with the analytical interest of a scientist, and the artistic impulses of a composer, performer, and listener. He was not only the first American credited with inventing a musical instrument but he also learned to play the harp, guitar, and violin.
Franklin was very partial to Scottish tunes, and thought their appeal was due to their combination of melody and harmony.