Saw Notes

A Resource for Musical Saw Enthusiasts

History

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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My Wild Irish Saw

July 6, 2017

Mussehl and Westphal is a popular musical saw company that has been around since the 1920’s. According to their website, Clarence Mussehl, after hearing the Weaver brothers perform in 1919, decided he wanted to develop a musical saw. Mussehl and Westphal advertised in many magazines in the 1920’s, and at the […]

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Ford Hanford

May 3, 2017

One of the earliest recordings of the musical saw is a Victor recording of Ford Hanford playing “My Old Kentucky Home,” recorded May 2, 1921. This recording includes the musical saw with an orchestra. Mr. Hanford plays first with a hammer and then switches to a violin bow. Listen and […]

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More on our saw playing friend, Ford Hanford…

May 1, 2017

Popular Science included an article about Ford Hanford and his saw in their May 1921 issue: How Music Is Produced From A Saw “Go to the tool box and get your saw. Perhaps it is a musical one! And there is no sound sweeter than that which can be drawn […]

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