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Musical Saws: The Real Power Of Music

hand saw

If you think saws are only great for cutting down trees and for carving wood sculptures, think again.

Yes, that’s right! Saws can be used as musical instruments, too!

Check out the real power of music – via these facts about musical saws:

  • Also called a singing saw, the musical saw is a type of hand saw.
  • It has the ability to create ethereal tones like a theremin, an electronic musical instrument first developed in 1920 and played without bodily contact from the musician.
  • The musical saw is classified under the Hornbostel-Sachs system as friction idiophone with direct friction, a type of musical instrument that creates a vibrating sound even without strings or membranes.
  • It is usually played seated with its handle pressed between the legs and its far end held by one hand.
  • It has a wider and longer blade than the usual saw meant for cutting down trees.
  • It doesn’t have sharp teeth and might sometimes have a parallel grain to its back edge.
  • Those made with thinner metal has great flexibility, while those made with thicker metal has richer tones, longer sustains, and stronger harmonics.
  • It was first produced over a century ago in the United States.
  • It was also produced in Germany, France, Scandinavia, and some countries in Asia back then.
  • Only three companies in the United States were left producing musical saws by 2000: Mussehl & Westphal, Charlie Blacklock, and Wentworth.
  • By 2012, a new kind of musical saw was produced by Index Drums: the jacksaw, which has a built-in transducer on its handle.
  • Natalia Paruz, a.k.a. Saw Lady and a renowned New York-based musical saw and novelty instrument player, holds an annual Musical Saw Festival every summer in New York City. She has also produced one in Israel back in 2007.
  • In J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 30 musical saws were mentioned to be played in an orchestral performance during Nearly Headless Nick’s 500th deathday party.

Wanna see how a musical saw is played? Watch the video below!

Ah, the real power of music just proved to be even more fascinating. Aside from that, musical saws do not only exist to create simple music – being mostly known for cutting down trees, other woodworking tasks, and all – but also exist to create masterpieces and other music legacies that anyone can truly be proud of.

Check this table saw buying guide for more information about the different kinds of saws used for other artistic purposes.