Articles, Blog

100 Year Old Self-Playing Violin – “The Eighth Wonder Of the World”

August 18, 2019

What is this? Well this is a orchestrion, and it has two different instruments Maybe you can guess them it feels like a piano you are correct, so we have a piano over here Actually the most special instrument of this orchestrion are those three violins The first time I visited this Speelklok museum my brain caught fire on that very day the idea to build a mechanical instrument took form 16 months later we released the Marble Machine video The Marble Machine was a viral success, but a mechanical failure We started to build the much more engineered and improved Marble Machine X This meant retirement for the first machine I asked Speelklok if they were interested and the perfect circle was completed when the machine was Exhibitioned at the very place that gave me the inspiration to build it When I was back of this Speelklok to install the machine I was again amazed by the Mind-blowing mechanical masterpieces there in this series I want to share that experience with you and show you some of my favorite music instruments from the collection of the Speelklok Museum In this episode we’re looking at the Phonoliszt Violina, an Orchestrion with self playing violins. This is actually I think one of the most famous instrument of the company of Hupfeld so the first one was actually built around 1910 and it was presented at the world exhibition in Brussels and normally the doors would be closed so actually the people who listened to it had no idea what was going on inside the cabinet and They would call it the eighth wonder of the world. Because they could listen to self playing violin music with actual violins. So not organ pipes that imitate the violin sound but actual violins. This round thing must be the bow then. Yes, exactly so this is the bow and it can turn around and there are 1300 horse hairs in there, so it took quite some time to make this bow. And it turned around and sometimes it turns around a bit faster to create more volume and sometimes a bit slower to create less volume and Normally if a human being is playing the violin you would press the bow against the strings But here it is the other way around because the violin is pressed against the bow with just a little bit of air So when you have to play, they’re just pressed to against the bow. And then when you want to pause they retract again? Exactly yeah, and you can see three violins and they each have four strings Just like regular violins, but the only one string for violin is actually used and it’s a different string on each violin So together they have like the reach of just one violin, actually. And they are played by these mechanical fingers and they have little pieces of cork underneath to imitate the human fingertips a little bit To make it sound more organic. Yes. The Phonoliszt Violina Orchestrial is built 1914 by Ludwig hupfeld in Leipzig. For a long time the ultimate goal for mechanical instrument makers was to build self playing violin. It was the holy grail of mechanical music and many makers doubted if it even could be done. Although Leonardo da Vinci made sketches of a viola organista he never built one. But the Hupfeld company achieved the seemingly impossible and when the violina was premiered at the 1910 world exhibition in Brussels it was advertised as the eighth wonder of the world. On a slightly personal note here if I manage to get the Marble Machine X to be able to play live in front of an audience on a world tour I think I will have to borrow that idea from Hupfeld and advertise the Marble Machine as the ninth Wonder of the world. Instruments like these sometimes they used to play in the cinema, because the movies were silent back in those days. So they let start one paper roll and after one paper roll is finished they would start the next one. That’s a little bit different what we’re going to do on the Marble Machine X. Because we are gonna have two sections on the programming wheels so you can have song, a, song one and then quite fast change to song two and then while song two is playing change to song three and so on. Yeah, I’m going to play for you we’re going to listen to the pianist and the violin. Fantastic. In the next episode we’re taking a look at another mechanical masterpiece. Thanks to our friends at Speelklok Museum and thanks to you for watching.

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  • Reply Alf Taner July 4, 2019 at 7:05 am

    Love it , inspiring intellect , develop it's further .

  • Reply Photoguy64 July 4, 2019 at 7:07 am

    Dam, I ran out of quarters!

  • Reply Alf Taner July 4, 2019 at 7:07 am

    The girl who is enlightening the public about the machine is really really cute , just my opinion 😇

  • Reply TaurusRex 7 July 4, 2019 at 7:34 am


  • Reply Jojin DeMathew July 4, 2019 at 8:19 am

    Very easy , chathan seva

  • Reply WuzNab July 4, 2019 at 9:41 am

    It actually sounds beautiful.

  • Reply Zautea Pachuau July 4, 2019 at 9:49 am


  • Reply [Saila Jae] July 4, 2019 at 10:51 am

    Ling Ling can do better

  • Reply Shijun Gao July 4, 2019 at 2:08 pm


  • Reply Benjamin Aguirre July 4, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    i ship them so hard

  • Reply bentline July 4, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    How the hell did this thing survive 2 world wars, economical depression and adheaval, and now it's surviving through the Merkel dictatorship. Amazing.

  • Reply English July 4, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    What's de name of the piece at 2:20 ?

  • Reply Vahe Barseghyan July 4, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    Bullshit! Music is a spiritual experience and it has to be played by human.

  • Reply Mr. W July 5, 2019 at 12:24 am

    The best I can say of the sound is al least the violin plays the right notes.

  • Reply NowM July 5, 2019 at 3:01 am

    Eighth wonder of the world can't even pizz

  • Reply Glenn Alvarez July 5, 2019 at 3:31 am


  • Reply Shanghao Zhong July 5, 2019 at 3:54 am

    there r thousands of 8th wonder

  • Reply Shanghao Zhong July 5, 2019 at 4:02 am

    And the 8th wonder of the world can’t even play Paganini. Come on, it needs to practice 40 hrs a day

  • Reply Savannah Miller July 5, 2019 at 6:29 am

    Shouldn't the piano keys be moving?

  • Reply Flamer Gamer July 5, 2019 at 6:56 am

    People of the past definitely seem more creative

  • Reply DeZs Sim July 5, 2019 at 11:13 am

    And here I am realising how dumb we have become a century later

  • Reply skgm July 5, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    1st gen i pod

  • Reply Dewalt van der Westhuizen July 5, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    My phone can play as much instruments as I want it to play.

  • Reply goji 0208 July 5, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    I thought king kong was the eighth wonder of the world

  • Reply Aadithya Athrey Chandiran July 5, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    So, how does it tuned??? What happens when it gets out of tune?

  • Reply Elysium July 5, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    no vibrato

  • Reply David Howell July 6, 2019 at 2:39 am

    The idea of a simulated instrument was originated 100 years or more ago, now we have it on software but the essence live till today. 🙂

  • Reply A folding chair July 6, 2019 at 3:26 am

    that one song i listened to through all of sixth grade

  • Reply Saint Yeetus July 6, 2019 at 5:17 am

    5:24 Is what y'all came to see

  • Reply Rowena Grinsam July 6, 2019 at 5:55 am

    Germen: Let me show you its features….hahaha

  • Reply Gaming vibes July 6, 2019 at 9:41 am

    u sound like mobile legends utuber betosky😂😂😂😂😂😂

  • Reply Clara Ning July 6, 2019 at 11:01 am

    Now we don’t need to worry about the intonation 🙂

  • Reply Ben Calibri July 6, 2019 at 12:37 pm


  • Reply mellow jr July 6, 2019 at 5:42 pm


  • Reply borislav Ivanov July 6, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    Can you play the violin….
    Well yes but actually no

  • Reply inspiration is you July 8, 2019 at 7:27 am

    Still not 8th wonder

  • Reply lucidmoment71 July 8, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    I want one.

  • Reply Simon Scully July 10, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    It’s basically a big ol’ hurdy gurdy

  • Reply Joaqii July 11, 2019 at 5:38 am

    is 2:20 a real song? if so… what’s it called? i love it!

  • Reply Natural Harmonia Gropius July 11, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    saved as mp3 Now I have a self playing MP3 player

  • Reply William Bergener July 11, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    Man your marble machine is not half as cool.

  • Reply BenjiBean July 12, 2019 at 12:58 am

    Ling Ling can make 40 violins play by themselves at once

  • Reply Fuzzawuzzit July 12, 2019 at 7:31 pm

    Then there's my violin that can't stay in tune for more than 5 seconds.

  • Reply Khoi Le July 13, 2019 at 4:15 am

    you are witnessing the first computer ever built in 1910

  • Reply Damon Tsekos July 14, 2019 at 11:24 pm

    I bet these violins don't get tuned by themselves!..LOL!

  • Reply Nyarome 2 July 15, 2019 at 2:00 am

    pasadena is like a silent film

  • Reply Tom Weather July 16, 2019 at 3:16 am

    I like how she's wearing gloves, and he's just casually leaning on and touching everything.

  • Reply Natural Aesthetics July 16, 2019 at 4:51 am

    It definitely did the ling ling 40 hours a day practice

  • Reply Tara Braganza July 18, 2019 at 11:07 am

    Good luck!

  • Reply JB fancam gives me life July 18, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    Youtube algorithm, another wonder of the world.

  • Reply JB fancam gives me life July 18, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    TwoSet reacts to this

  • Reply 앙기모딱 July 18, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    that is fking creepy

  • Reply Mike Johansson July 19, 2019 at 5:59 am

    Would be like a nightmare to tune this…

  • Reply Anjali Goomer July 19, 2019 at 10:07 am


    Thank me later

  • Reply June Barcega July 19, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    thats what makes engineering, architecture and music combined..

  • Reply Euphia Zhapkiel July 20, 2019 at 8:00 am

    Am I the only that thinks it's scary… Well yeah it's beautiful but it's scary when it's 3am in the moring and you heard it play alone and you know that you're alone😂😂😂

  • Reply Elijah Daniel July 20, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    I love this👏

  • Reply Exolette July 21, 2019 at 12:59 pm

    I came from piano note lessons… how did I get here.

  • Reply Caden Elkin July 22, 2019 at 2:26 am

    So… it's a giant hurdy gurdy with a piano built in? For those who don't know what one is, look it up on Google, it's worth it.

  • Reply The-Lonely-Janitor 659 July 22, 2019 at 3:16 am

    Next time, please refrain from touching relics of the past, thanks.

  • Reply Franz Joseph Esguerra July 22, 2019 at 4:30 am

    The production quality of this video is too damn high!

  • Reply Michael Harto July 22, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    If i had the brain juice for this, this is what i would spend my life on til i die.

  • Reply 42brow July 22, 2019 at 10:00 pm


  • Reply Fallen Ghost Yasha July 23, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    What if it automatically starts playing at 3am ?

  • Reply ForeverBrine July 23, 2019 at 10:24 pm

    Whoa, that's the dude from Wintergatan that made the Marble Machine!

  • Reply Fluffy Cloud July 24, 2019 at 6:56 am

    You could say he pLaYeD HiMsElF

  • Reply Kirk Golembiewski July 25, 2019 at 12:06 am

    She’s wearing white gloves and not even touching it. This guy has no gloves and is leaning on it the whole time.

  • Reply r. suresh July 25, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    Helen Keller is 8 wondour…. This may take 9 th

  • Reply rockychieng88 July 25, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    haunted violin

  • Reply Ian Raven Pis-ew July 26, 2019 at 3:35 am


  • Reply kamoteQ July 26, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    analog midi player

  • Reply Smol Snek July 27, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    Dude fuk your marble machine

  • Reply TheAnonyy July 28, 2019 at 9:12 pm


  • Reply Daniel hamberg July 28, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    This is very epic !! ^_^

  • Reply Broc Hanteur July 29, 2019 at 1:56 pm


  • Reply Andy Wecon July 29, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    find the grave of the man who produced it. Where is his grave? impressive production.

  • Reply mattikaki July 29, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    We have those here in Finland too. That really must have been true wonder those times. But why those marble machine ads were interrupting this video?

  • Reply New England July 30, 2019 at 1:48 am

    Now we need to make it play flight of the bumblebee

  • Reply guamex08 July 30, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    1st dj? Jukebox? Music what a wonderful progress

  • Reply 3melendr July 31, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    First, let's define which category merits the title. Mechanical? There are many rivals such as the encryption machines used in WWII and manufacturing machines in industry. A well made mechanical watch is a contender for the title. The 8th Wonder of The World shown here probably does not meet the criteria the seven before it do. Never the less an impressive use of mechanic engineering.

  • Reply Soikot Biswas August 2, 2019 at 2:08 am

    wow..never seen like this before.

  • Reply tiggy boo August 2, 2019 at 3:08 am

    So essentially it's just a giant hurdy gurdy???

  • Reply No Thankyou August 2, 2019 at 4:34 am


  • Reply Sick Samuel August 3, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    Amazing to watch , but those greasy hands all over everything drove me crazy

  • Reply Xiangjun Yin August 4, 2019 at 2:06 pm


  • Reply Magnified August 6, 2019 at 9:46 am

    How could people in those early decades with less mechanical-technological resources build a musical machine so perfectly and when this guy today built a similar machine (marble machine) today with available latest mechanical-technological resources it resulted in a mechanical failure 🤔

    How the hell….?

  • Reply Ruben Kelevra August 9, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    She's cute

  • Reply D K August 10, 2019 at 3:32 pm

    So this futuristic machine was invented in 1910

  • Reply infinity and beyond August 11, 2019 at 12:18 am

    Dude needs a haircut.

  • Reply Darragh the Heartless August 11, 2019 at 8:13 am

    They look like brother & sister, so strange. The girl in the museum has same eyes, nose, face as you.

  • Reply RSV August 12, 2019 at 8:45 pm

    Remind me WESTWORLD…

  • Reply Liskouskaj Bandurske August 14, 2019 at 2:54 am

    Ive seen more impressive things deserving of the title "Eighth wonder of the world"
    Including my College Grades

  • Reply Livia Chavez August 15, 2019 at 2:28 am

    yeah…. walkman is good

  • Reply GrabFood Pecado August 15, 2019 at 5:39 am

    He's come from different world, not this world..

  • Reply derrick August 15, 2019 at 5:51 am

    As astounding and amazing this is, it lacks what I believe to be the most important thing in music. The soul of the player. Music sounds so much more magical with a soul, with emotions poured into it by someone who is passionate about music

  • Reply ZerqTM August 15, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    does anyone know what the music at 5:23 is called?
    that tune is totally stuck in my brain now damn it!

  • Reply john smith August 16, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    maybe afterall people were a lot smarter than we are today. To achieve that kind of performance with the aid of mechanical labour and not so much of precision tools, it meant they were intelligent and skilled. Unlike us today.

  • Reply Rei Tokisawa August 17, 2019 at 12:12 am

    I want Twoset to watch this and see their reactions to it.

  • Reply Mark Zram August 17, 2019 at 4:39 am


  • Reply troll Mr. August 17, 2019 at 6:30 am

    someone need to send this to twoset

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