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Will this experimental musical instrument work? Answered

So I got this brilliant idea to try and make an instrument out of PVC that can play two or maybe three notes at once. Problem is, I don't know if it will work.
The sax mouthpiece would produce one note and the two recorders another.
Will the recorders even make noise from the air that it gets from the sax mouthpiece? Or should i just ditch the sax mouthpiece and have the two recorders being played?
Even if it did work, I would only be able to play a really simple song with only three harmonized notes.


pie R []ed

7 years ago

Yes, and no. if you are including the recorders mouthpiece, they will both play a tone. If you are relying on thew sax mouthpiece for the tone, you will get one note for both. the sax. if the sax mouthpiece is just for another tone, it should work, but will be hard to tune, and make it hard to play in more than one key.

Also, recorders require some finesse in breath control and as such may be hard to get good tone out of. i would recondite closing their ends to make them ocarinas like was done here: http://www.songbirdocarina.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&product_id=175&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=62


7 years ago

It will make a noise.
"Work" depends upon what you want it to do.

Do try it and find out.



7 years ago

The best way to find out is to build it :-)

However, my suspicion (speaking as a physicist, not a musician!) is that you aren't going to get the results you think. Recorders work by having the length of tube act as a resonant cavity. When you block the finger holes, you force the cavity to have an anti-node only at the (one) open hole) (in real performance, the pattern of open vs. closed holes means that a mix of overtones is produced, rather than a single frequency).

What you've done above is to produce a single long cavity, with a length equal to the two recorders plus the connecting pipe. You can analyze the instrument equivalently(*) by removing the mouthpiece in the middle, straightening out the U shape, and putting a mouthpiece at one end.

The tones you get will depend on the combination of holes you cover on the two recorders, but will (obviously) not be the same as the tones you'd get from applying those fingerings to two recorders separately.

(*) The replacement instrument is not exactly equivalent, because the mouthpiece you have forces an antinode at that location, regardless of the fingering. The equivalent instrument would have to have an open hole, which is never covered (maybe you put a guard ring around it) at the same location.