Second Time Around- page 2 | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian
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Second Time Around

Invented by Ben Franklin but lost to history, the glass harmonica has been resurrected by modern musicians

Dean Shostak, who performs more than 200 armonica concerts a year in the United States and abroad, is the only one to play with a foot pedal as Franklin did. Steeped in the instrument's history, he recalls reading tantalizing accounts of the armonica. "The stories talked about how the music affected audiences, how it captured the audience in a way you have to hear to really understand," he says.

Like his fellow aficionados, Shostak revels in the instrument's past and looks with excitement to the future: "Franklin had a spirit of musical adventure that I feel was lost for a time," he says. "Maybe the glass armonica will show us the way back to that spirit."


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