What-a-shame has proven most valuable as an acoustics-demonstration device. It reveals the inner vibratory life of a narrow spring-steel rod whose sounds would otherwise be inaudible or nearly so. It consists of a simple system for holding one or two rods firmly enough for good vibration while allowing continual variation of the active length. Positioned beneath the rod is a magnetic pickup to monitor the vibrations in the rod. It’s remarkable how many fascinating, odd and comical sounds this thing can make, and how many unexpected and interesting acoustic phenomena it can demonstrate. Two different versions of the instrument appear in the two pictures here.

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