Here is my musical saw. I play it with a bow or sometimes spoons. It creates an incredibly eery and unusual sound! As it is - or was - a common tool of a Clown, I began learning just before I ran away to join the circus.
People often ask me - "but is it a real saw?" To which the answer is both Yes and No.
My saw is larger than a regular saw, as it is made to certain dimensions which allow it to cover a range of notes when played. However it does have real teeth, which are sharp, and could be used for cutting.
One of the most famous and glamorous exponents of the 'singing saw' was Marlene Dietrich, who recorded and performed for troops in the Second World War, and it was also widely used on the vaudeville and circus circuits.
However since being back in North Wales, I have been collecting threads of stories from older people who can recall workmen - railroad workers and miners - often playing the saw, it being a normal part of their everyday world.
So, a highly unusual instrument; utilitarian yet highly alluring.
In a later post I hope to shed some light on a famous local saw player - Philip Yorke, Squire of Erddig.