JF Ptak Science Books Post 2230
The description of one of the electric piano-like instruments1 occurs early on in the history of electricity, and in the case of the Jesuit Giuseppe Marie Mazzolari, it is a narrative that found its way into print in 1767. Mazzolari was actually a contributing editor of this work which was a compendium of state-of-the-art/science tour of mid-18th century thinking and accomplishment, making his Electricorum Libri VI2 is a semi-encyclopedic testament to the period of scientific achievement and progress. Another outstanding and unexpected contribution in this book though was made by Joseph Bozzoli (1724-1783) who made the suggestion of using electricity to transmit information--that would have been a sort of electric telegraph, using encoded sparks in a Leyden jar to transmit info from one end of the electric circuit to another, which is very cool stuff 70 years before the first certified electrical transmission of data, and nine years before Tiberius Cavallo, who is generally considered to be the first to make this suggestion.
Oddly the book--or references to it--do not seem to show up very often in the standard histories of electricity.
1. This is actually an electric cymbalo ("Cymbalum Electricum" as it is called in the illustration in the book), but the issue is the same, being a description of the first electric keyboard instrument. It is called a cimbalom, cymbalom, cymbalum, ţambal, tsymbaly, tsimbl, santouri, sandouri, and so on, and is a type of hammered dulcimer. A slightly earlier description occurs in Jean-Baptiste Thillais Delaborde's Le Clavessin électrique avec une nouvelle théorie du méchanisme et des phénomènes de l'électricité (Paris, 1761) "Delaborde built a working model of his innovative instrument and organized performances, however, even though the press was sympathetic to the clavecin électrique, it was never developed further and was soon forgotten."--Wiki
2. Mazzolari's book isn't in six volumes--"Libri VI" or "Libri sex" is simply the notation for the book being divided into six major sections, or books in Old School antiquarian parlance.