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The mystery of the whirly tube’s missing fundamental mode [study]

The musical instrument shown above is known by various names e.g. the whirly tube, the corrugaphone, the bloogle resonator, the voice of the dragon, the hummer, and even, according to American composer (and parodist) Peter Schickele the “Lasso d’Amore”. For acousticians, it’s noteworthy because the fundamental acoustic mode, that’s to say the note that one would expect to hear given the length of the pipe, doesn’t feature in the whistling. This anomaly, and more, was examined in detail in Voice of the dragon: The mystery of the missing fundamental mode Proceedings of 20th International Symposium on Music Acoustics (Associated Meeting of the International Congress on Acoustics) 25-31 August 2010, Sydney and Katoomba, Australia.

[Research research by Martin Gardiner]

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