Why are musical triangles triangular?

  • Thread starter ascky
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Is there any physics reason why musical triangles are triangular, and not circles with gaps (or anything else)? Or is it just tradition.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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It's easier to bend a triangle out of a strait rod.

The sound would probably be a bit different but not different enough
to want to go to the trouble of bending a circle.
 
  • #3
Pythagorean
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I think Antiphon is right about the actual reason why it's a triangle, out of convenience, but also it's a shorter distance between the three sides of a triangle than a square or a circle, using the same amount of material, so you can strike it faster.

but the sound would be a different tone for a circle than it would a triangle. I think the sharp angles in triangles effectively make it three different lengths of metal as far as fundamental harmonics is concerned (depending on the material and how it creased).

A circular triangle would be like a longer string, effectively emitting one deep tone instead of three higher tones.
 

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