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Another bowed keyboard

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Project by JonJ posted 08-12-2008 10:46 PM 2233 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Another bowed keyboard
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This is more of a prototype than anything, made from 2×4’s and plywood. This is another attempt to produce sound by mechanically bowing something (in this case tuned brass rods) and selecting notes with a keyboard. This instrument only has 24 notes, the reason so few is, it produces vibrations using the length of the brass rods. More notes would have quickly made this thing 20 ft or more long to get low notes. I may someday build something that uses rods mounted in the rafters of a building, but for now this “scratched my itch” to build something that sounds a bit like bowed glass. This photo was taken at a folk music festival my hometown is trying to get rolling. This was it’s second year, and I had my wheelharp (see my other projects for it) and a few other things on display. It went pretty well, and I hope to build something new to put on display every year and help breathe a little life back into our old town.

I was going to paint this instrument to hide the pine, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it…

I’ll try and figure out how to post a recording of it soon- I think it sounds pretty neat, but most people tend to lean a little more towards “creepy” when they descibe what it sounds like.

-- Jon





13 comments so far

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 2392 days


#1 posted 08-12-2008 10:56 PM

Cool!

Thanks for the post

Callum

-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out http://thetimberkid.com/

View brianinpa's profile

brianinpa

1809 posts in 2412 days


#2 posted 08-13-2008 12:40 AM

Those legs look great. I’m glad you didn’t paint it.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Karson's profile

Karson

34891 posts in 3090 days


#3 posted 08-13-2008 12:51 AM

John another unique instrument.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6664 posts in 2669 days


#4 posted 08-13-2008 02:19 AM

Hi Jon;

Very Creative!

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View griff's profile

griff

1206 posts in 2451 days


#5 posted 08-13-2008 04:08 AM

Very nice, I like the legs Very good build

-- Mike, Bruce Mississippi = Jack of many trades master of none

View jeanmarc's profile

jeanmarc

1886 posts in 2406 days


#6 posted 08-13-2008 12:50 PM

very nice.good job

-- jeanmarc manosque france

View Thor's profile

Thor

110 posts in 2966 days


#7 posted 08-13-2008 04:06 PM

I’ll look forward to hearing the sound.
It sure is a pretty instument. I’m also impressed with the materials used. Very clever.
Christina

View jm82435's profile

jm82435

1280 posts in 2431 days


#8 posted 08-13-2008 04:28 PM

Looks great, can we hear it maybe an MP3 or video?

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View JonJ's profile

JonJ

163 posts in 2529 days


#9 posted 08-13-2008 04:47 PM

Looks great, can we hear it maybe an MP3 or video?

That will be my next project- figuring out how to post a sound/video sample.
Now, If I could only remember my photobucket password…

-- Jon

View scottishrose's profile

scottishrose

110 posts in 1855 days


#10 posted 10-15-2009 02:26 AM

Bowed glass sounds a bit close to a glass harmonica to me. You are just using very clean fingers instead of a bow on the glass to get the vibration as the glasses spin. You can play many at a time that way.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112325 posts in 2266 days


#11 posted 10-15-2009 02:39 AM

cool

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View crosseyedcarver's profile

crosseyedcarver

226 posts in 1726 days


#12 posted 02-09-2010 11:09 PM

keep trying for what you want. practice makes perfect.

-- Tim, Tallahasse FL

View MitchM's profile

MitchM

4 posts in 1665 days


#13 posted 04-03-2010 09:05 AM

I like it! Have you ever heard an “aluminum harp”? It would be cool to make a keyboard instrument that plays one of those.

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