Build Your Own Xylophone Out of Copper Pipe *
|Time Required||Average (6-10 days)|
|Material Availability||Specialty items: Tube and pipe cutter wheel, or hack saw.|
|Cost||Low ($20 - $50)|
|Safety||Adult supervision required to cut the copper pipe.|
AbstractDid you know that making a musical instrument is not just an art, but a science, too? You can discover just how scientific by building your own xylophone (or a set of chimes) from copper pipe. First you'll need to do some research about the math and physics involved in the sounds of a xylophone. For example, there are equations that describe the transverse (side-to-side) vibrations of a pipe. These vibrations create the sounds you hear. So, to get specific sounds, xylophone makers must apply these equations to calculate the correct length of pipe for a given note. Can you use these equations to build a xylophone with eight pipe lengths representing the C major scale (do, re, me, fa, so, la, ti, do)? How should the pipe lengths change if you want to build a xylophone that plays a different scale? For help on how to actually build the xylophone, and more information about the equations you'll need, read the article by David R. Lapp, listed in the Bibliography. You might just find that playing with equations is music to your ears!
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Last edit date: 2017-07-28
- Lapp, D.R. (2003, July). Building a copper pipe "xylophone." Physics Education. Retrieved March 5, 2014, from http://users.df.uba.ar/sgil/physics_paper_doc/papers_phys/lapp.pdf
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