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The Pyrophone

Experimental Musical Instrument

Acoustics and Psychoacoustics

The Pyrophone is an experimental musical instrument, created by me to fulfill the requirements of the Acoustics and Psychoacoustics module of my Masters in Music Technology degree. It is made almost entirely of 1" Copper water pipe, with welding rods to hold the hanging pipes in place. It was played by applying a Jeweller's Blowtorch to the bottom end of one of the pipes, and adjusting it's position until a growing tone was heard. The Pyrophone stands 2.3 metres tall and just over 1 metre wide. The instrument pipes were originally cut to a C scale, but miscalculation on my part meant that they are wildly inaccurate, as all the lengths were calculated with an assumed temperature of 20 Celcius. Now, whilst i don't know the burning temperature of Butane, i realise now that it sure as hell aint 20c. At some point, i may post audio files of the Pyrophone in action.

The Pyrophone now resides in the Interactive Design Centre at the University of Limerick, probably as a bookend. I am greatly indebted to Mr Seamus Harrold and the Mechanical Engineering Dept. of UL for his assistance with building the instrument.


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