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Weight-Powered Monochord ALU

High tension you can hear

The Weight-Powered Monochord consists of an aluminum frame plus a string mounted to a movable footboard. 

Players can shift their weight to alter the tension of the string and hence its pitch. The instrument uses a gas tank to amplify the sound.

Facts & Data

  • Materials - Aluminum, silkscreen printing plate, gas tank, twine
  • Sound - Acoustic: quiet; amplified: can be adjusted
  • Setting and usage - Either inside or out; waterproof
  • Setup time - 15 minutes
  • Exhibit duration - Hours, days, weeks or months
  • Type of mounting/installation - Freestanding
  • Space required - 1.5 x 1.5 meters plus surrounding space

Games & Activities

  • Nomber of players - 1
  • Instructions - Step on the board, pluck the string, listen, shift weight, compare
  • Supervision - Medium; operations should be displayed every now and then
  • Fun factor - Low to medium, individual use
  • Playing time - 1-3 minutes

Knowledge & Experience

  • Relationship between pitch and tension
  • No tension: no sound
  • The more tension the higher the pitch
  • Gas tank as resonating body
  • Movement causes melodies