Tuesday, 17 July 2018

The glass harmonica: a story of creativity and innovation (No.4)

To see the previous posts in this series click here.

The way Benjamin Franklin thought, allied with some of his other qualities and the nature and extent of his knowledge, offers important insights into a creative mind that was capable of making practical and successful inventions and innovations. Six aspects are particularly significant.

Here is the fourth aspect:

Franklin combined logic with passion.

"Franklin is seldom thought of in connection with music, but he both delighted in it and thought clearly and critically about it."
(From Benjamin Franklin by Carl Van Doren)

Franklin's invention of the glass harmonica is a clear example of how he could combine his scientific logic with his passionate feelings; he used his scientific knowledge to create new and beautifully moving music.

The perfect marriage of the logical and the emotional that the glass harmonica represents led Franklin to write the following:

"Above all my inventions, the glass armonica has given me the greatest personal satisfaction."

His ability to move between logic and emotion enhanced his inventiveness: his passions inspired and drove him to create and his scientific knowledge provided the methods and tools with which he could create.

Whenever Franklin sought to innovate, passion was his spur. It was his love of music that spurred his creation of the glass harmonica, and passionate beliefs about other things (such as humanity and society) spurred his endeavours in other important areas.

To read the next post click here.    

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