Leonardo da Vinci piano hybrid heard after 500 years

Leonardo da Vinci's viola organista has a keyboard and four spinning wheels that make strings vibrate.

(Credit: Video screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET)

Apparently, Leonardo da Vinci loved to rock.

An unusual musical instrument that combines keyboard and cellos has seen the light of day some 500 years after the Renaissance superman conceived it.

Leonardo’s viola organista has come to life through the passion of Polish pianist Slawomir Zubrzycki, who has played a lavishly designed version of it in concert.

Zubrzycki produced the mechanically bowed keyboard, which resembles a bowed clavier, based on a sketch and notes in Leonardo’s Codex Atlanticus, a collection of manuscripts covering miscellaneous subjects that is dated 1478 to 1519.

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