Thursday, August 16, 2007
Building a pan flute
I woke up one morning and thought building a pan flute would be a neat thing. I have no idea why! It just made sense at the time. ;-) So I went to the hardware store (called Oranjeblanjeblou) and bought 2 meters of PVC pipe. I also bought some other stuff like sanding paper, a little saw, some rubber things for a plug, some wood and some super glue and black paint.
I found that the mathematical equation to calculate the length of the tube is:
TL = (S/F) / 4
Where TL is Tube Length, S is speed of sound (344m/sec), F is desired frequency.
I decided to make 13 pipes so I could have the western musical scale of A, A#, B, C, C#, D and so on. The frequency of A (actually A4) is 440Hz, and the frequency of C# is 554Hz, and so on.
To calculate the length I needed for C#, I would then do:
(34400/554) / 4 = 15.52 cm
Since I had some rubber things that I used to plug up the pipe, I found that I have to add their height (about 0.6cm) despite them not being hollow. I didn't know this at first so I spent quite some time sawing it down properly after realizing my mistake.
I also spray-painted it black, with the exception of the piece of wood I put on the back (not visible in the pictures).
The sound is good but it's very loud.. Maybe I should build a smaller one next time, and maybe one out of bamboo!
So.. there you go, a pan flute made out of materials costing less than 60NOK !