The Harry Potter theme performed on wine glasses is a trick that’s been seen with different themes and even classical songs as well but it’s still very impressive. The performance is based upon filling each wine glass, and it has to be glass or crystal, with a certain amount of water so that each sound is different in pitch so as to create the needed sound for the performance. This what is known as a glass harp, as the person playing the ‘instrument’ will rub their fingers, either bare or chalked, around the rim of each glass in order to produce the desired sound. Each individual glass needs to have the right amount of water to produce the desired effect or it could throw the entire piece off. Those who perform in this manner however are usually proficient enough that they can tell when they need to add or remove water from each glass.
This is a fairly common style of performing that dates back 14th century Persia, where it’s said that the first glass harp was utilized. Since then it’s undergone many different changes and been used in many different places. The result and the look is usually the same however. Some people have used sticks to create the sounds while most people will use a moistened finger and rub the tops of the glasses. The latter style is better able to keep the glasses from breaking or even just giving off a false note due the strength of the user.
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this type of act more than once in my life on both the street and in private functions where people have decided to try their hand at it. Most of those I’ve witnessed have been quite nice, with only a few of them needing further practice to really make it work. Of course the latter were performed by younger practitioners for talent shows and those attempting to stand out from the crowd, but their attempts were admirable. Even upon making mistakes I couldn’t help but be impressed as they made adjustments and continued forward, doing their level best to complete their selected music.
Just think about what it would take to make this work. First you have to know which notes you need to produce, and second you would have to understand just how the dynamics of the glass harp work. From that point it would become imperative to understand how the pitch of each glass can change by adding or taking away water. Obviously they have to be glass or crystal, since plastic wouldn’t work. There’s also the matter of having a soft touch as well, since being too heavy-handed with this instrument would cause a disaster.
I have to wonder just how long it took this man to nail the Harry Potter theme so accurately that he could perform the entire piece without stopping. The theme is dynamic enough with its movements that it would require an intense amount of focus and concentration on this particular piece, so in other words, I am suitably impressed.