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Polyphonic acoustic instruments

Acoustic instruments are almost all monophonic or one voice at the time, except for keyboard instruments. Only some free reed instruments have polyphonic capacity, like accordeons and melodicas. However modern knowledge of acoustics and computer aided design can create some sophisticated instruments. Making free reed or other system based polyphonic acoustic instruments is perhaps possible. Then “polyphonic symphony orchestra” can be made. Even string instruments can have polyphonic sound when played with special curved bow. So violins and cellos can be polyphonic too, if their string curvature is changed to less sloped form and curved bow is used. Bazantar or other string instruments with symphatetic strings can be manufactured using polyphonic bow also. For free reed instruments manufacturing polyphonic versions of saxophone, clarinet/basset horn and oboe (heckelphone and lupophon) can be made. Altough these are tuned monophonic (“transposing” etc.) polyphonic versions when played several keys together will create polyphonic sound. Clarinet has max 27 keys in Voll-Oehler system and that has even extented to 30 keys, and basset horn is extented clarinet so it should have even more keys. Oboe and its derivates has 45 or more keys. Saxophone has 23 keys and 3 extra holes that can be covered like extra keys. If the key system of these instruments are changed to typical piano style like melodicas, now full polyphonic sound is possible and keys increased to woodwind instruments to piano like numbers (49, 54, 61, or 88 keys per instrument). Making accordina/ accordeon type button keys increases keys to about 200 keys to max like largest accordions today. These polyphonic instruments will be “blow accordion” or melodica type instruments, but acoustically tuned to sound like saxophone, clarinet/basset horn, oboe etc., and can even look like saxophone, oboe etc. In netpage patmissin.com is “History of western free reed instruments” that mentions Hohner Hohnerette, trumpet like blow accordion/ melodica, Couesnophone (Goofus) etc. old instruments using melodica or accordion type structure. So trumpet- like instruments can be also be build using polyphonic principle. Also “harmonica patents” section of patmissin.com mentions Hans. A. Bruder german patent 1080385 harmonica like 8-voice instrument (1960) that is like flute, so “Bruderphone” type polyphonic flutes can also be build. How polyphonic sound is possible? Free reed instrument with single set of free reeds , double set of reeds (something like vibrandaneon?, italian double(?) set of reeds melodica with high sound quality, invented in Italy originally at 1800- century), or multiple reed (blow accordion) instrument that resembles saxophone, clarinet or oboe can be made, and even something resembling trumpet / Hohnerette. Acoustic tuning can be made using modern know- how of acoustics and materials. Plastic, carbon fibre, different metals like silver, bamboo wood and different wood materials etc. can be used (saxophonoses are made using bamboo wood). If high density metals are needed then lead or tungsten can be used, and even plastic mixed with tungsten like shot shell shots are using. Materials that can acoustically “tuned” like Flaxwood, mixture of wood and plastic, can be used to create these new polyphonic instruments. Symphony orchestra can now have polyphonic sound, and ordinary melodicas of different pitches (bass melodicas, soprano melodicas) accordinas etc. increase sound palette of orchestra. Sound and shape of these instruments resemble monophonic saxophones or flutes but inside these instruments are accordion/ melodica / harmonica type. String instruments (4 or 5 or 6 string cellos / contrabasses, Bazantar, Sympathetic drone cello, Campanula, Harpeggione or Arpeggione) can be played polyphonic using Vega bow, Bach Bogen bow, or Vladimir Pliassov `s curved bow (US patent 5918297, 1999), and changing the curvature of strings to less sloped so less curve is needed in the bow. When Goofus (polyphonic saxophone) come to market it sounded like mouth blown harmonica and not at all like saxophone, these about 100 years old novelty instruments were not a success based on harmonica/ melodica polyphonic principle. But now knowledge of acoustics and acoustic resonance of different materials is at another level, and computer aided design is at use. Altough instruments are free reed / melodica based their sound can be adjusted and sound color and pitch fine tuned with modern materials like synthetic materials (plastic, carbon fibre), metals, and flaxwood wood/plastic hybrid, different wood materials, thermotonewood ( Landola guitars) etc. Altough sound of these melodica / vibrandaneon / blow accordion instruments is not exactly like saxophone, trumpet or oboe, close approximation of sound resembling these instruments is propably possible. Saxophone- like polyphonic instrument with 200 button keys like accordion and polyphonic sound would be suitable for jazz etc. music, 200 key “hohnerette” trumpet is also possible. Or instruments would look like traditional saxophone, they have similar keys and tuning, but polyphonic capacity. Now polyphonic symphony orchestra is possible. I choose oboe and basset horn because they already have lots of keys, so adding polyphony to them would make them usable polyphonic instruments altough they are monophonic “transposing” etc. type in standard form. Their innards would be a set of free reeds accordion based, melodica / accordion type, but shape resembling trumpet or saxophone or oboe and they would be actually “blow accordions”, not saxophones or oboes etc. If ordinary melodica shaped instruments can be tuned to sound like trumpets, oboes or saxophones also normal melodica / accordina shape can be used. Hans Bruder s “bruderphone” would be polyphonic version of flute (altough it is 8-voice harmonica). Heckelphone and Lupophon are versions of oboe with different tuning and propably lots of keys like oboe also so they can be used to players that are not used to play accordions or melodicas. If “normal” instruments like saxophones, clarinets and oboes would have polyphonic capacity but normal “monophonic” tuning (or transposing tuning or whatever is the correct title) musicians can use them like normal clarinets or saxophones but when needed add extra notes for polyphonic sound. If instruments have button (accordina) keys then even maximum 200 key polyphonic sound is possible (humans however have only 10 fingers), but now the tuning of instrument is not exactly like monophonic instrument (because monophonic instrument has less keys). Tubax is crossfeed between tuba and saxophone, so it can be be basis for free reed polyphonic tuba, replacing monophonic tubas in polyphonic symphony orchestra. Or use giant “contrabass melodica” with tuba-like horn/bell to amplify sound. Melodicas and accordinas can be played using two hands simultaneusly, same system is recommended for these new class of polyphonic instruments. Piccolo clarinet -type instrument can also be made as replacement for flute in free reed polyphonic instruments. Hohner Claviola was an attempt to manufacture whole new breed of free reed instruments, and after Claviola other similar instruments were planned to be made, but even Claviola production had abrupt end. Claviola was invented in the 1960s, since then no new polyphonic acoustic instruments have come to market, and 50 years have already passed without new inventions in polyphonic acoustic instruments field. Because almost every possible acoustic instrument is already invented, only way to make something new is to make polyphonic acoustic instruments, monophonic instruments have already been made. But nobody seems to be interested making polyphonic acoustic instruments altough it would tremeondously expand palette of sound of instruments and possibilities to compose music polyphonically to large orchestra and smaller groups and bands of players. Cellotar, Harpeggione, Togoman GuitarViol, Guitariole, Greg Ryan Instruments are all crossfeed between guitar and cello. If electric cello/guitar/violin hybrid is played with hands it is “monophonic”, but played with bow it is polyphonic instrument, if bow is curved or strings are not curved like cello. So electric guitarcello is in fact electric polyphonic guitar played with a bow. And etcetera, different kinds of electric and acoustic polyphonic instruments can be made. If it is possible to make polyphonic instruments using some other than free reed, I don t know, but modern computer assisted design and acoustic knowledge perhaps other ways than free reed (in western music accordion was invented about 150 years ago, since then no new polyphonic acoustic method has not been invented) can be used to make polyphonic sound. Harmonichord / Mellowchord was free reed instrument invented in USA in 1940s (info is from patmissin.com netpage “western free reed instruments”) that was designed to begin a whole new family of instruments like Claviola, but nothing much came from it either. Hans Bruder s harmonica-flute never went even prototype stage. Modern computer design and acoustic knowledge can create instruments perhaps better than these failed attemps, and early 1920s Hohner novelty instruments and Goofus. Vibrandaneon has good sound but it has invented already 100 years ago and modern versions are like melodica in appareance. Chromatic button accordeon can have almost 200 keys (64 treble plus 120 or more in bass side), so for example polyphonic saxophone-sounding instrument with 200 keys would propably be popular, like accordion but using blow accordion principle, and perhaps even looking like saxophone, except accordion buttons. Or simply making accordions and melodicas to sound like saxophone and clarinet and not altering their physical appareance, only thing that changes is sound, that is like clarinet or saxophone or oboe, not like accordion or melodica. From patmissin.com “western free reed instruments” is Symphonium by sir Charles Wheatstone 1828, Apollo Lyre by Ernest Leopold Schmidt 1833 that sounded like clarinet, oboe and bassoon and “horn” at the same time, and Harmonicor / Harmonitrompe by Luis Julien Jaulin 1861 that was like trumpet with “piston” keys (25 key trumpetlike instrument). Since then interest to create polyphonic instruments waned. Melodicas are sometimes mounted like piano and air blown by tube that is in players mouth, so that all 10 fingers can be used. Similar instruments in polyphonic symphony orchestra can also be in use, and if foot pedals are used too, polyphony increases to 10 fingers and 2 feets. So this instrument is like ordinary reed organ / harmonium that has air blown by tube in mouth not pedal pumping. Now keyboard can be 88 key piano style, or similar like Tonal Plexus that has over 1000 keys, or microtonal keyboard type 1000 or more pentagonal or hexagonal or octagonal or other shape keys, or button keys like harmonica, tuning like chromatic accordion or microtonal system or any other suitable tuning and 1000 - 2000 keys. Pedalboard increases tonal capacity even more. If pedalboard is in use that is like ordinary harmonium (reed organ) with mouth tube, and sound is like clarinet or oboe or saxophone, not reedorganlike altough physical appareance is. Large “contrabass reed organ” doubles tuba and has similar sound like tuba, that has pumped by foot pedal and has large horn/bell to amplify sound. If pedal power is used to blow air no mouth tube is needed and result is reed organ / harmonium with sound like saxophone or clarinet or oboe. So “symphony orchestra” has large crowd of reed organs / tube blown melodicas that are grouped like regular symphony orchestra, and their sound is like orchestral oboe or clarinet, but they are melodicas and reed organs played using 10 fingers and mouth tube or harmoniums with or without pedalboard. Small piccolo melodica can double as flute. That is one solution for polyphonic acoustic instruments. Hohner made 1950s/1960s reed organs that were essentially accordion turned to reed organ and played on piano keyboard (combo reed organs). If air is blown by electric motor mouth tube or pedal pumping is not needed, but that sounds like cheating because purpose is to build acoustic polyphonic instruments. But those polyphonic instruments can be any shape and size, like traditional saxophone or clarinet/basset horn or oboe or tuba, or accordionlike (altough their innards differ from regular saxophone or tuba) and not even free reed based if other ways to produce polyphonic sound is found. Flaxwood and Aqvacomp have built clarinet prototype using flaxwood (acoustic material made of acoustically tunable plastic and wood mixture) and violins with thermotonewood “aged” wood material were planned also. String instruments can be polyphonic also, bazantars (cellos) and violins played by special bow and the strings of these instruments are not grouped so curved like ordinary violin or cello so that bow can more easily play several strings at once. Campanula is cello with additional strings and it has alto viol and violin versions also. Making polyphonic versions of them is possible with Pliassov s bow or other. “Sympathetic drone cello”, and Hurdy-Gurdy-Cello (at berneluthier.fr netpage) are both crossfeed between crank driven hurdy gurdy and cello. Making polyphonic versions of them is propably also possible. Polyphonic hurdy gurdy (crank driven violin) propably possible also. Different “bowed guitars”, guitar built to be played with the bow, are polyphonic if bow if used instead of fingers to play them, (Alan Miller bowed guitar, Guitariole by Vincent Magrini, Ha-Shem guitar by Esteban Antonio). “Indian violin” by nouvelleluthierlab.com and other extra strings violins and stringed instrument designs with extra sympathetic strings can be polyphonic also perhaps, if the extra sympathetic strings don t mess the sound when several principal strings are played at once, then not just ordinary violins or cellos could be polyphonic. “Foldable guqin dulcimer” by Mighty Q is hybrid between “mountain dulcimer” and guqin (chinese instrument), both can be played with bow if needed. Not only conventional violins and cellos but any string instrument with strings and played with a bow can be transferred to polyphonic if it is played with polyphonic bow, and there is enormous range of different string instruments that are played with a bow around the world, so polyphonic string instruments have several designs to choose from. These instruments can be acoustic, electro-acoustic (with B-Band electret film pickups, piezolectric pickups) or electric.

Hohner Claviola had small tubes connected to reeds and that combination produced sound. Polyphonic instrument that is shaped to look like saxophone or trumpet, but inside it is small tubes with 8 reeds, so it needs large bell that trumpet and saxophone have, inside that bell is 8 small tubes with reeds like Claviola, and those reed / tube combinations are tuned to sound like saxophone or trumpet, so it is 8 voice polyphonic instrument that approximately sound like trumpet or saxophone but it can play 8 notes simultaneusly. So it is like trumpet or saxophone shaped Claviola, blow accordion. Material can be metal, plastic, carbon fibre, wood (Thermotonewood) or Flaxwood, or combination of them. One kantele manufacurer used swedish laboratory to produce laser generated images of soundwaves when sound resonances and sound behaviour with kantele strings was searched for building perfect kantele. Similar sound resonance knowhow and CAD design with acoustic materials can be used to create polyphonic instruments, woodwind instruments that are actually melodica or Claviola- based inside but look like normal woodwinds, and trumpet -like instruments and other horn instruments. Tuba has such large size that inside it can be build 8 tubes easily. Those instruments can use piano keyboard like melodica or diatonic like accordion, or keying of saxophone in saxophone but 8 voice polyphonic mode. Clarinet and flute have slim body so they are not suitable for 8 tube structure. Simplest solution would be keyboard connected to 10 saxophones of different size and tone, or 10 different trumpets, and electromechanical system turns keyboard signal of 10 notes to electromechanical openeing and closing of keys of saxophones and valves of trumpets, so with keyboard those 10 saxophones or trumpets can be played. Air is blown using electric motor. Handheld version of previous would be trumpet with 8 trumpet tubes in one, high pitched so trumpet tubes are small, electromechanical system opens and closes 8 valve rows simultaneusly, keys that player presses can be piano keys or diatonic accordion or other keying system, microcontroiller reads keys and controls electromechanical system that opens and closes the valves. Player blows to mouthpiece like normal trumpet, but now he plays 8 trumpets simultaneusly. Saxophone version can also be made, and other woodwind / horns. High pitched instruments can be small so they all 8 fit in small space. Saxophone with straight alto sax tube like soprano sax have, and 7 other sax tubes around it straight like soprano sax and higher ptch. 8 tubes have different pitch so they produce polyphonic sound. Trumpet has largest tube in middle and 7 surround it, or sax and trumpet can have 4 tubes in cross formation and 4 tubes around it formation, etc. Light metal, light plastic, carbon fibre etc. is material because those 8 instruments in same - things must be light enough that player can hold them. Those tubes are now not same as Clavioline type free reeds, they are just “normal” saxophones or trumpets that are grouped to group of 8 and played as one instrument using electromechanical key system. Instead of electromechanical key system, mechanical system that directly contacts keys that player presses to keys of saxophone or valves of trumpet can be made, but that is complicated. Also trombone can be made as free reed instrument, similar toy instruments have been made. But this is professional polyphonic trombone, slide of trombone covers range of 25 - 45 reeds or more, and when player streches or closes trombone slide, slide either closes or opens free reeds, so trombone player can play 1 - 45 notes or more simultaneusly, and player controls polyphony with trombone slide. This is actually “slide blow accordion” that looks like trombone but it is melodica (that is used with trombone slide) inside. So it is 45 or more note trombone, and those max 45 notes can be played simultaneusly when slide is open, or down to just 1 note if slide is closed. If instead of sax sarrusophone is used as model (if sax sound cannot be reproduced using free reeds) in free reed instruments, and other two reed instruments as sound model making polyphonic free reed versions of them, if simulating single reed instruments is too difficult using free reeds, and free reed version of saxophone altough is polyphonic sounds “wrong”. Using high-pitched instruments is perhaps more suitable for free reeds, if in low frequencies they cannot produce woodwind / horn sound imitations. But if simply 8 “ordinary” instruments or more are grouped as one, they can produce polyphonic sound with one player. So “polysax”, “polytrumpet” and “polybone” can be made, and other polyphonic woodwind / horn / brass instruments, that cover symphony orchestra instruments range, so entire symphony orchestra can be build using polyphonic acoustic instruments, violins with polyphonic bows etc., that opens completely new possibilities for composers when one note at a time - rule is no more. Mini versions of trumpet and saxophone exists, pocket trumpets for trumpet and googling “mini alto sax” brings many results for mini saxophone, like “The saxinet”. Because these mini versions have almost same range as normal trumpet and sax, and are not so high pitchet instruments like soprano or soparanino versions of sax, or trumpet, those miniaturized versions of sax and trumpet can be grouped to groups of eight as one 8 voice polyphonic instrument. Used with electro- mechanical or mechanical keys / valves, or with pneumatic logic for valves / keys that has pneumatic (air) power from player. But player must use in max 8 instruments at same time, using one mouthpiece, and if air is needed in pneumatic logic also that is perhaps too much. And pneumatic logic is unreliable, I have heard. “Mighty contrabass dubstep pocket reed trumpet”. So if those 8 instruments have small size (trumpet and sax tubes, sax tubes must be always straight not curved in 8-in-one instrument) it is easier to player and also lighter to carry than if those 8 tubes / bells were normal sized. So miniature alto sax and pocket trumpet can be used as model for 8 - voice polyphonic single reed instruments (8 instruments grouped as one polyphonic, used with one mouthpiece). Free reed polyphonic versions that imitate the sound of sax or trumpet and look like sax or trumpet have not perhaps same sound like trumpet or sax, even in high-pitched versions. Other single reed or double reed instruments can also be made in polyphonic versions, either grouping 8 of them into one or using polyphonic free reeds inside. Flute similar to Hans Bruder patent or just grouping 8 flutes to one? Instrument that has 8 tubes (sax, trumpet) different tubes can have either different pitch, or all 8 tubes have same pitch. So alto, soprano, soparanino, C-sax etc can all be grouped to one instrument, or alto sax that has 8 mini alto sax tubes that are identical, can be made. When free reeds are used mouthpiece is not for sound shaping but reeds are inside tube like free reed instruments have, mouthpiece is just fake because free reed instruments do not need it, but instrument looks like real saxophone with it. If 8 single reed / double reed instrument are grouped to one, mouthpiece must have in 8 parts and all of them own tube, all have own single or double reed, player blows to one mouthpiece which has inside 8 tubes, each has its own reed, so it is one mouthpiece connected to 8 mouthpieces actually, and those 8 tubes make sound. The single mouthpiece that player blows has no reed, it is just collecting air to those 8 separate mouthpieces that make sound. This is just one suggestion how to make 8-in-one instrument. But is just one mouthpiece with one reed / two reeds enough, if after one mouthpiece sound goes to 8 tubes and sound is then polyphonic? I don t know. There is “Multiwind” wind controller at Hackaday netpage. If 8 -tube instrument has electromechanical control, breath controller / wind controller that is not used to control synths but mechanical keys and valves of real instrument can be the user interface.