Airdate: Oct 11, 2010
Scientist: Bart Hopkin
It looks like an Octopus and creates its own brand of musical sound.
BH playing branching Corrugahorn
JM: That is the sound of the Branching Corrugahorn, a wind instrument designed by experimental musician Bart Hopkin. I'm Jim Metzner and this is Pulse of the Planet.
Bart Hopkin is one of the scientists and engineers in this year's Kid Science Challenge, our free nationwide competition.
BH: So, this is an instrument which uses corrugated tubes, and these corrugated tubeshave the property that the faster the air rushes through the tube, the higher the note in the harmonic series they'll play.
I'm going to blow through this tube softly first, and it'll play a low note not very low, but the lowest it can play.
If I blow harder, it'll jump to another note.
BH plays a higher note - And harder still.
BH plays a higher note - If I keep blowing harder and harder, you'll go through a whole series of notes.
BH plays a series of notes
JM: The The tubes on the branching corrugahorn is made up of a series of thin corrugated tubes, looks a little like skinny vacuum cleaner tubes, attached to a single wooden whistle. It looks a little like a four-legged octopus. Each tube is a different length and produces a different set of tones. Played all together, you get a brand new musical scale.
JM: If you have know a third to sixth grader with an idea for a new musical instrument, visit have them check out kidsciencechallenge dot com to learn how you can enter our free nationwide competition for 3rd to 6th graders. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.