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Musical physics?

  1. Feb 18, 2006 #1
    Lately there's this project assigned which requires me to apparatus/instrument which can play twinkle twinkle little star. It has to be completely edible.
    Here's a more comprehensive criteria:
    1) at the presentation, teams may bring a tuning device to tune their instrument. However, contestants will not be allowed to use any tuning meter or any other device to measure or adjust musical properties during the performance.
    2) cannot be made out of any pre-purchased device, meaning that it must be home-made.
    3) MUST be edible immediately after the performance with no additional preparation. "Best way to think about materials: if you would be surprised to see it on your dinner plate, it shouldn't be a part of your instrument".
    Example of edible materials: fruits, veggies, candy, pasta, cookies
    Inedible: sawdust, reeds, bark, and aluminium foil
    4) The "instrument" MUST be the source of sound production. So it can be a wood or string instrument, just to mention a few.
    5) each note played must be sustained for 2 seconds. And twinkle twinkle little star must be played in the key of G major, however any octave of this key is permitted.

    Please give me some suggestions as to how to start my project. I do not have any idea how to make something edible but can also play music.

    Thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 18, 2006 #2

    turbo

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    Can you think of a wind instrument that is easily constucted and can be tuned (by trimming)? Your teacher has not given you a lot of options with these constrictions, but the rules should lead you pretty naturally to an obvious solution.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2006
  4. Feb 18, 2006 #3

    Mk

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    That's a dumb rule. Why so long?
     
  5. Feb 18, 2006 #4
    The problem though, is that I don't even know how to make anything that can generate sounds with a fixed musical key, yet alone G major, which is rather high or a little low (in comparison to middle C). I have thought of making a recorder out of cookie dough, but then I would have trouble keeping the interior hollow, not caving in.
    Suggestions?
     
  6. Feb 18, 2006 #5

    0rthodontist

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    Flute from a stalk of celery?
     
  7. Feb 19, 2006 #6

    turbo

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    I gave you a pretty good hint - what kind of instrument does Zamfir play? What kind of vegetable could be made into such an instrument?
     
  8. Feb 19, 2006 #7

    FredGarvin

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    How about a popular, tubular candy that's pretty easily trimmed?

    Or....why not go for the liquid approach?
     
  9. Feb 22, 2006 #8
    The pan-flute seems to be made out of bamboo... I believe another member of the forum suggested celery. I guess I could try celery sticks made into a pan-flute.

    I'll post up any more difficulties over the weekend.
    P.S. Thanks for the advice!
     
  10. Feb 22, 2006 #9

    turbo

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    OK, I'll give you one more hint although it shouldn't be necessary at this point: What's up Doc?
     
  11. Feb 23, 2006 #10
    Twizzlers are tubular.
    BLades of grass can be positioned vertically along the lips to produce musical sounds. We used to do that in grade school to annoy the children.
     
  12. Feb 23, 2006 #11

    FredGarvin

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    What about a bunch of crystal glasses filled with liquid? You can tune each one by adjusting the liquid levels. Granted, you can't eat the glasses...
     
  13. Feb 23, 2006 #12
    Make the glasses out of rock candy?
     
  14. Feb 23, 2006 #13
    Fred brings up an interesting point - perhaps the true purpose of the assignment is to get you to eat new and unusual things.
     
  15. Feb 24, 2006 #14
    Is it the plan to eat the instrument after the presentation or is that just hypothetical?

    If so, say you did use a carrot or celery...
    It would have to be dry in order to make it and produce good sound, wouldn't it? Would water in that sense, have a great effect on the sound? Or could you make a pretty good 'carrot flute' with a fresh carrot.

    If it does have to be dry, that would be quite awful to have to eat afterwards.
     
  16. Feb 25, 2006 #15
    Ain't beans the musical fruit?
     
  17. Feb 25, 2006 #16

    Chronos

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    Try carving a flute from a carrot, cucumber, or turnip. A watermelon gives a resonant, bass sound to the ensemble, but the rind is bitter.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2006
  18. Feb 27, 2006 #17
    Maybe you could make an ocarina out of a pumpkin.
     
  19. Feb 27, 2006 #18

    Ba

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    If you are willing to make candy then you could make almost anything. A recorder would be easy or if you trust your musical skills you could make a slide whistle. Thus allowing better tuning. Xylaphone comes to mind as well. Should be easy to play and easily made out of food.
     
  20. May 7, 2011 #19
    I have to make a box-type harp for my physics class, and I am trying to figure out how to calculate the density and lengths needed for the strings of the harp and how to build the frame. Any ideas?
     
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