A Celebration of Print

An Afternoon with Ben Franklin: Words and Music

A week of activities honoring Benjamin Franklin’s birthday




Event Description

Dr. Thomas Chávez, former director of the Palace of the Governors and a scholar of Spanish colonial history, speaks on his forthcoming book from the Palace Press, Dr. Franklin and Spain. Dr. Celia López-Chávez, a Latin American scholar at the University of New Mexico, speaks on the records about Franklin and his musical invention, the glass armonica, that are held in the Spanish Archives.

As a special treat, Musician Mayling Garcia of Corrales will give a performance on the armonica, an instrument that creates music similar to what one achieves when swirling their finger around the lip of a crystal wineglass. Both Mozart and Beethoven wrote music for it, and it enjoyed wide popularity, although some performers complained that its tones caused emotional anguish. (Lead poisoning from the glass has been one hypothesis of an armonica-related ailment.) Practice playing a virtual version by clicking here or linking to http://sln.fi.edu/franklin/musician/virtualarmonica.html.)