Several years ago I joined with the New Zealand artist and instrument maker Phil Dadson to write a book called Slap Tubes and Other Plosive Aerophones. The term “plosive aerophone” refers to a broad category of instruments in which a partially enclosed body of air, such as air inside of a tube or vessel, is made to vibrate at a recognizable pitch by some sort of sudden blow or agitation. The best known instrument of this type is slap tubes, in which a wide, flat, soft beater is slapped over the open end of a tube, exciting the air inside to create a loud, clear-pitched tone. Plosives can take many other forms as well. Our book included an audio CD for which we recorded a wide variety of them, and a sampling of those can be heard in the audio clip here.

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