Music Recording - Electronic
Seated in an easy chair is Mrs. William E. Danforth playing the electrical musical instrument developed by her husband, Dr. W.E. Danforth, for use in the non-paid Swarthmore Symphony Orchestra.
By sliding the finger on the strips of metal atop the box the tones of the French horn or the bass clarinet issue from the loud speaker seen in the right background.
When he is not experimenting on cosmic rays, high-haired Director William Francis Gray Swann of Franklin Institute's Bartol Research Foundation, plays a cello. Young William Edgar Danforth, his assistant, plays a cello too. Both are mainstays of the Swarthmore (Pa.) Symphony Orchestra, a volunteer organization of about 40 men and women who play good music free. Because nobody in the orchestra can handle a French horn or a bass clarinet, Drs. Swann and Danforth built an electrical "oscillion" so ingenious that it can be made to sound like either, so simple that a child can master it. Last week at a Swarthmore concert the oscillion made its world debut, playing the long clarinet passages in Cesar Franck's D Minor Symphony without a mishap. Listeners thought the oscillion lacked color, was a little twangier in tone, otherwise indistinguishable from the woodwind it replaced.
Courtesy: TIME http://www.time.com 2/4/2008