Be the first to hear Leonardo da Vinci's Harpsichord-Viola

harpischord-violaLeonardo da Vinci was one smart cookie, as the exhibit "Leonardo da Vinci's Workshop" at Discovery Times Square Exposition attests. One of his inventions is a portable harpsichord-viola keyboard. A musician could strap it to his waist and move around with the device (perhaps gyrating—we don't know) while playing. It's a design and a dream that looked forward to a better, more advanced time. Namely, the 1980s and the fashion for shoulder keyboards.

We don't know if da Vinci's designs were produced at the time, but three clever Herberts from Milan, Leonardo3, have built one from scratch, and it's unveiled tomorrow at the exhibition. At 11am, Renaissance band Piffaro will perform holiday songs in the style of the period to demonstrate the instrument's sound, and two of Leonardo3 will also be on hand all weekend from noon to 6pm to answer visitors' questions and play the harpsichord-viola.