Cheers to the singing wine glasses

25 July 2012, 09:10 | Updated: 25 July 2012, 09:16

Musical wine glasses are nothing new, but now they've been turned into a proper instrument!

These glasses are sure to hit the right note at any dinner party. The light gradations on the side represent the level to which wine (or perhaps water might be wiser if you’re going to be attempting all four movements of Beethoven’s Fifth) should be filled to achieve the required note. All you have to do is gently rub the rim of the glass with a wet finger and hear those notes ring out.

Your newly discovered musical prowess on these hydrocrystallophones will keep you in good company, as they've been used for dozens of film and TV soundtracks, including the Harry Potter films, Mansfield Park and The Young Victoria.

The concept of creating music with glasses is not a new one, with Galileo considering the phenomenon in his Two New Sciences, and the practice being traced back to Renaissance times in Britain. The Irishman Richard Poekrich is commonly thought to be the first who made this quirk a profession, performing in 1740s London on goblets of water.

It was Benjamin Franklin, however, who managed to popularise it as an instrument by modifying for ease of use what he observed glass virtuoso Edmund Delava play, and creating what is now known as the Glass Armonica.

Apart from the hours of fun to be had recreating your favourite melodies, this must be surely one of the least arduous instruments to tune, “a little more claret please,” or, “Let me just take a sip, the A is sounding a bit sharp…”

A set of two from Luna & Curious will set you back £39, and a set of twelve will cover a full keyboard octave.