How to Play the Horn
[Experiment] Placing a ball, pyramid, and block inside the bell
Performing a sound experiment
The position and shape of the hand inside the bell influences the pitch and timbre, so we experimented with placing objects of differing shapes inside the bell.
The position and shape of the hand in the bell is very important. We wanted to find out how the tone would change with different items. We made different shapes from Styrofoam and put each into the bell in turn to see how it would affect the sound.
- We made a triangular pyramid, a block, and a ball from Styrofoam.
- We put each on the end of a bamboo stick.
- We put each in the bell in turn while playing the instrument.
Results of the experiment
As this was an experiment, the recorded pitches differed from the correct notes.
While playing the horn, each item was inserted in turn and slowly pushed inside the bell, and then slowly removed. First was the pointy, triangular pyramid, and the change in tone was so slight as to be undetectable. The block was next, and the tone became a little tighter. The ball perfectly fit into the bell, and the pitch dropped noticeably.
Our conclusion was that the triangular pyramid did not change the tone because there was too much open space between it and the bell. The block also has corners, and so there was too much open space when it was placed as far back in the bell as it would go, so it did not affect the tone so much. The ball, however, fit perfectly into the back of the bell and effectively closed the opening, and the pitch changed dramatically.