History

Faulkner and the Musical Saw

May 25, 2018

  Sometimes the musical saw shows up in unexpected places. I wouldn’t expect the saw to play a part in literature, but much to my surprise, the musical saw shows up in a short story by William Faulkner. Faulkner is one of my favorite writers. In 1925, when he lived […]

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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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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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