The Aeolian Harp
Aeolian Harp (from Aeolus, the fabled keeper of the winds) consists
of a number of gut strings (of different thickness' but tuned in
unison) on a wooden resonant box about three feet long, which can
be attached to a tree or a building or fitted along the length of
a window ledge.
blowing of the wind sets the strings in vibration in such a way that
their harmonics are heard, rather than their
fundamental note, and this gives a chordal impression - the
harmonics produced varying according to the thickness of the strings
and the velocity of the wind. The effect is similar to that often
heard from telegraph wires, but with the added resonance of a hollow
sounding board, and the complexity of a distinct choral suggestion.
Englishman Robert Bloomfield was in the earliest years of the nineteenth
century making and selling Aeolian harps in London. They seem to
have been very popular in those days of romantic landscape gardening
with its rustic summerhouses and ruins.
names for this instrument are Aolsharfe, Windharfe (windharp), Wetterharfe
harp or atmosphere harp) and Geisterharfe (spiritharp).