Saw Notes

A Resource for Musical Saw Enthusiasts

History

A Voice Like A Saw

March 13, 2018

The musical saw is often compared to the human voice, and that’s part of its charm. It isn’t often, however, that singers’ voices are compared to a musical saw. The Dezurik Sisters are an exception. The Dezurik Sisters, Mary Jane and Carolyn, were stars on WLS The National Barn Dance radio […]

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A Dog’s Life

February 21, 2018

Here’s a clip from Charlie Chaplin’s movie “A Dog’s Life,” a silent movie from 1918. The soundtrack includes a saw. I think the saw works well with all the crying. The music was composed by Chaplin himself, who specifically indicated that the passages should be played by a saw. You […]

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No Suits Required!

October 20, 2017

There’s nothing inherently musical about a saw, and we don’t usually think of music when we think of hand tools, but it is possible to make beautiful music on a hand saw. In order to do this, you simply need a handsaw, a bow or a hammer, and a little […]

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Whose Idea Was This Anyway?

October 17, 2017

Many have speculated about the origins of the musical saw. The Hyde Park Herald, August 27, 1926 included this article explaining how it all happened: “First ‘Musical Saw’” “The idea of extracting music from such an unlikely medium as an ordinary steel saw is said to have originated more than […]

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The Weaver Who?

July 26, 2017

According to the Mussehl & Westphal website, Clarence Mussehl was inspired to make musical saws after seeing the Weaver Bothers perform in 1919. But who were the Weaver Brothers? During their time, there were very popular, and they worked with many famous acts such as Burns and Allen, Jack Benny, […]

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Was Tom a Sawyer?

July 20, 2017

As far as I know, Tom Sawyer didn’t play a saw, but “sawyer” is a term used by some to refer to people who play the saw. The term usually refers to people who work sawing wood, and according to the Oxford English Dictionary, before that, the term was sawer. […]

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