This curious instrument, which was created in 1952 by French brothers François and Bernard Baschet, uses metal and glass rods, heavy plates, and springs to create multi-timbre percussive sounds.
The Cristal is a chromatic instrument such as the piano. It is made up of glass shafts that are stroked with wet fingers to produce vibration. In that respect, it is very different from Benjamin Franklin’s Glass Harmonica. Indeed, the glass shafts do not directly produce any sound; the sound comes from the vibration of a steel rod which is fixed upon a springer. The vibration of the glass shafts is transmitted to the steel rods, which are each tuned thanks to a metallic weight fixed on their extremity. These rods are fixed upon a heavy springer which, in turn, spreads the vibration to a large amplifier that spreads the sound in the air.
via Boing Boing