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Topic: Imagined instruments

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  1. #1

    Imagined instruments

    Late night thoughts: Anyone else ever think of modifications or new instruments that would be almost impossible to build? Two that I want to create, but would be, at least for financial reasons, impossible (but I'd be surprised if someone hasn't tried to build these before) :

    1. A square, not very large room for a piano (dead center) that has (the room that is), along each of the four walls, running from the ceiling to the floor, tuned piano strings that would resonate with the regular piano, and with any other insturment, for that matter. One would thus be, in a sense, inside an enormous piano. The room itself would be expensive unless you could find one with walls built on the square with steel beams. (Or would cast iron beams be needed--would construction steel be strong enough to support the tension?) The other problem would be creating the strings of the necessary thickness in the correct ratio to their length, since the depth\height of the room would of course demand longer strings than in a piano. The intention is be surrounded by resonance, of course, to create a room as an instrument, not to just magnify the sound of the normal piano. (Yes, it would be nice to be able to dampen the strings along the walls, too, but let's be reasonable...)

    2. A very large gong--about 200 feet, or bigger, bigger in diameter, suspended in the middle of a large room. Would need steps near it with various platforms at various heights so it could be struck in various places. Or the player is suspended in a sling...The problem would be just the expense, I think--most gongs are made of bronze. Or would there also be trouble just casting bronze in such a large size with an eveness in thickness, so it would tune correctly? Does anyone know of any experiments with creating very large gongs? The goal? Just to create huge waves of sound.

    Other impossible or nearly impossible instruments?

  2. #2

    Re: Imagined instruments

    along each of the four walls, running from the ceiling to the floor, tuned piano strings that would resonate with the regular piano, and with any other insturment, for that matter. One would thus be, in a sense, inside an enormous piano.
    Jake, one way to (sort of) get this effect pretty cheaply would be to get a bunch of trashed pianos (cheap,) the larger the better, with the action junk but the harp intact. Mount as many of these harps as you can get on the wall (or on a resonator if you prefer.) A couple dozen of these well-tuned would give a lot of the same effect, at least enough to record (and of course, sample. )

    Not as much string length, so the gain and sustain would suffer, but you'd have the basic sound quality.

    Of course, this basic effect could be reproduced electronically with just 1 piano harp and an appropriate impulse. (Attach a speaker driver directly to the harp frame, so it is not HEARD, but drives the frame so the strings will resonate. Mike it, add the impulse in 5.1 and voila - the electronic equivalent of the 'music room.'
    Dasher
    -------
    It's all about the music - really. I keep telling myself that...

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    305

    Re: Imagined instruments

    Check this guy's work out:

    http://www.chrysalis-foundation.org/

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