The intonoromuri is an instrument created by futurist Luigi Russolo. It functions by vibrating a piece of catgut or metal string. The operator (or 'noisician') cranks the internal wheel by a handle on the rear, varying the pitch by the speed of cranking and by a topmounted switch which alters the tension of the string. The vibrations are amplified through a frontmounted speaker. A large variety of sounds can be produced, depending on the initial design of the instrument and its internal diaphragm.
27 different kinds of intonarumori were created, named according to the kind of sound they produced. Examples of these are:
- Gracidatore (the Croaker)
- Crepitatore (the Crackler)
- Stroppicciatore (the Rubber or Scraper)
- Scoppiatore (the Burster)
- Sibilatore (the Whistler)
- Gorgogliatore (the Gurgler)
- Ululatore (the Howler)
- Ronzatore (the Hummer)
As well as buzzers, thunderers, exploders, rattlers and roarers.
Taking as his starting point the apparent orchestrations of everyday urban life he sought to emulate the "crashing down of metal shop blinds, slamming doors, the hubbub and shuffle of crowds, the variety of din from the stations, railways, iron foundries, spinning mills, printing works, electric power stations and underground railways". This emulation is one that could only take place - indeed only make sense - in the twentieth century.
He first performed with his intonarumori in 1913 but the public had to wait until 1914 to savour its unheard sound. The performance was almost halted by police worries that, having experienced the afternoon rehearsal, it would likely cause a riot.
Sadly all the original intonarumori were lost or destroyed during the second world war.
Luigi Russolo's six families of noise according to which he designed the individual intonarumori:
|Noises obtained by beating on:)|
|(Voices of animals and people:)|