da vinci's curious viola organista 

Da Vinci's "Viola Organista"

Da Vinci’s “Viola Organista”

Via Smithsonian:

Leonardo da Vinci—artist, scientist, brilliant polymath, budding super villain—dreamt up a staggeringly long list of crazy contraptions and useful devices. Many of those inventions were captured in a tome called the Codex Atlanticus, a set of drawings and writings spanning the years 1478 to 1519.

For modern inventors and tinkerers, da Vinci’s ideas are a fun target. Earlier this year, a Canadian team built and flew a human-powered helicopter based on da Vinci’s designs. And, in Poland recently, concert pianist and instrument maker Slawomir Zubrzycki pulled a very curious instrument from the archives, da Vinci’s “viola organista,” a piano-like instrument that sounds like a violin.

Here’s Zubrzycki playing the instrument at the International Royal Cracow Piano Festival last month: