Brien Engel, Glass Harp

Music, Social Studies

  • Hay Street

Service Description

Brien Engel is an explorer of unusual sounds coaxed out of everyday things. His main passion is the glass harp, an instrument comprised of 50 wine glasses, which he plays by rubbing his fingers on their rims. This enchanting art form dates back to the 18th century, and Brien is one of very few modern practitioners worldwide. His repertoire includes pieces by Mozart, Bach, and Haydn as well as popular standards, ice cream truck songs, and the occasional heavy metal request. He has developed a nationally-acclaimed arts-in-education performance. He plays from an eclectic repertoire, weaving history and sound physics throughout the program, as well as a segment of musical saw, and his miniature glass harmonica, a design invented by Benjamin Franklin. Assembly: Glass Harp Music (K-12) During a Glass Harp Music assembly program, Brien performs music of different styles and periods, playing the glass harp. The program explores musical instruments made from everyday materials, the history of glass and water-tuned music, and related concepts of physics and sound. The program includes many participatory segments. Water tuning is demonstrated with water and soup bowls. Spring Vibration is demonstrated using a goblet and a Ping-Pong ball. A string and recreation of a violin bow as seen under a microscope are used to demonstrate string friction. Musical saw is also featured, and related back to the sound physics concepts. Another segment of the program introduces Ben Franklin's invention (and the first American musical instrument), the glass harmonica. Grade Levels K-12 Maximums 300 students per contact, 45-50 minutes, 6/day Technical Requirements School/other venue provides two rectangular tables ("six-footers") and three chairs, access to power receptacle in performance area. I will supply all sound equipment and everything else. Total Fee 1 performance - $572 / 2 performances (same school, same day) - $858 / 3 performances (same school, same day) - $1,045 / 4 performances (same school, same day - $1,210 School Portion 1 performance - $286 / 2 performances (same school, same day) - $429 / 3 performances (same school, same day) - $523 / 4 performances (same school, same day - $605 References Melanie E. Darby, Education Manager, Spivey Hall, Clayton State University, 678-466-4481 Eddy McGee, Executive Director, Stokes County Arts Council, 336-593-8159 Website

Contact Details

  • 301 Hay Street, Fayetteville, NC, USA