The Music of Physics

Uploaded by UniversityRochester on 06.12.2011

I teach this class called Physics & Music,
and this year we just had some fantastic instruments,
So the class is showcasing their instruments with some music.
Some of what you'll hear is
mixes of classical instruments with homemade instruments.
I made this at my house, back in Massachusetts
over Thanksgiving break. It took two full days of work,
sunup to sundown, essentially.
This here is called the Tubeulum. I got the idea from the Blue Man Group,
and the kind of thing they play. They play something very similar to this.
It took a lot of various math equations
to figure out how long a pipe needed to be for each note,
and then there was a lot of guess and check,
So we'd cut off or shave off little pieces at a time to get the right notes.
It's an E-Major scale when you go up it.
This is my Physics and Music project, a cigar-box-guitar.
Which is actually part of a recent revival of a long history of cigar-box guitars
It started in poverty, with jug-bands, a washboard bass,
and those kinds of instruments. People made do with cursory
understandings of acoustic principals, needing a resonating chamber
A lot of delta-blues players used a slide, so you can make a simple instrument
such as this, and you can get a pretty cool sound out of them.
I made a slide monocord using two wooden sticks and
a piezoelectric pickup. Basically you slide it back and forth,
and you try to play it percussively with this stick
and you hook it up to an amp, and it plays pretty well.
I'm playing with Jake and his tubes and then
a couple of guitars and it should be pretty exciting!
What are you going to do with it when you're done?
Oh I'm going to display this in my house and contine to build these.
This was such a fun project, and now that I know how they work,
and what mistakes I made, I can definitely make them a lot more quality
potentially get something that really sounds great.