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Homework Help: Making a pan flute. Need help.

  1. Mar 3, 2012 #1
    I need to make a pan flute for my physics class, I've already made one but decided that I will be remaking it because it didn't turn out too good. I took 8 straws, got my wavelengths from here: http://www.phy.mtu.edu/~suits/notefreqs.html and divided them by 4 to get the length I need to cut the straws (I started from C5), then I covered the button with plasticine and taped them together. Now my problem is, I can blow and get the notes however it doesn't make any sound. (if that makes any sense). I figured the straws I used were too thin in diameter so I asked my mom to get bigger straws if she can find any. (such as milkshake straws or straws from McDonalds).
    Was that my problem? Or am I doing something wrong? People in my class got their flutes to sound really nice so I asked my teacher to do it on monday, even though I'll get some marks deducted.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 3, 2012 #2


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    Gold Member

    Can you get hold of some copper pipe? That should make a nice pan flute, and the diameters would be sufficient to allow you to blow across the pipes with better accuracy, so it will sound better. Using plastic straws is a recipe for weak tone and uncertain resonance.

    If you don't have access to some scrap metal pipe, perhaps there is hard plastic tubing that could suffice, but metal is probably better in terms of resonance.

    Good luck.
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