There are several forms of the glass harmonica.


This version uses actual wine glasses, because they have thin glass. Water is added to a glass until it has the correct sound. Then the performer dips fingers in spare water and rubs them on the rims of the glasses. Classical composers wrote music for the glass harmonica. This piece, Il Lago dei Cigni, is from Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky.


This version was invented by Benjamin Franklin. Glass bowls are bored and trimmed to give the correct sound. Then the bowls are mounted on a spindle and turned by a treadle. The bowls rotate in a trough of water and are played by holding fingers on the rims.