I’ve never heard this story, but came across it in student’s paper. Anyone know the verity of this? “Beethoven used a machine which connected the piano to a metal rod in his mouth by a string so he could feel the vibrations as he conducted the symphony.”
I haven’t heard of that before, but I do know that Beethoven used to stick a ruler in his mouth and touch the other end of the ruler to the piano so that he could “hear” the vibrations from it. He also used ear trumpets on occasion.
Considering that he already knew the ruler trick to transmit vibrations from the piano to his mouth, it’s not much of a stretch to using a piece of string with a bit of metal on the end to basically do the same thing. As long as you hold the string tight, the device will work. It’s basically the same idea as using two tin cans with a piece of string between them to talk to one another (i.e. the old fashioned “telephones” that we used to make when we were kids).
While the device is certainly plausible, it still would be nice to get an actual cite to prove that he did in fact use it.
The Wikipedia article for Beethoven uses a cite from here. It mentions the use of a horn and resonance plate, but you have to pay to read the whole article.
Here’s a wikipedia cite. Being wikipedia, make of this what you will.
I get the impression that this device was a solid rod instead of a piece of metal on a string. Both methods would work.