Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Palisade Piano

Constantly variable, musical fence
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I remember when I was a kid the joy of cycling along, holding an outstretched stick against the bars of a long fence that ran the length of a nearby park, and being delighted at the random ping pang of the ringing metal posts.

The Palisade Piano is a more technically complex version of that same stick hitting a row of railings.

It consists of a long fence of vertically stretched cables that act as both a fence and an elongated musical instrument. Each of the cables is attached to a sliding block at the top and bottom, along with a tension control. The cables can therefore vary both their distances apart, which becomes the timing, and their tension, which alters the frequency of the individual notes they will deliver.

It is therefore possible by cycling along at a constant speed to play a preset passage of music, which could be constantly varied, even during the process of each journey.

Cyclists wishing to play the instrument would naturally have to travel in one direction only, to avoid collisons, but since the instrument is under the control of microprocessors, several musical selections could be played simultaneously with the rods constantly adjusting their position and tension after each impact.

As long as the cyclists maintained a constant speed and a reasonable distance apart, they could all have the pleasure of generating an individual melody as they cycled merrily along, holding a stick against the singing bars of the Palisade Piano.

xenzag, Oct 18 2006

xylophence xylophence
Conceptually related. [jurist, Oct 19 2006]

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       I like it! I ride a bike quite a bit and would love to have a place (or places) like this to visit.   

       Bun!
mmrtnt, Oct 18 2006
  

       Man! what about a huge, open area filled with pressure-sensitive plates to ride over, each one playing a different note on large speakers? Neato.
mmrtnt, Oct 18 2006
  

       well I did a Pavement Piano, which you might like
xenzag, Oct 18 2006
  

       Years ago I used to ride occasionally through a community college. There was a long, wide area down which ran a narrow drain. The drain was covered by dozens of metal grates about 1 foot long by 6 inches wide. Riding on them for the entire length of the drain (200+ feet) produced the neatest, random, oddball "plinka-plonka" sound.
mmrtnt, Oct 18 2006
  

       Why not a xylophone picket fence?   

       [Edit: Ah, because someone else already thunk it.]
jurist, Oct 19 2006
  

       I think to keep with the same style of instrument use computer controlled rumble strips (and no I'm not quite a newbie) to add a little bottom so that the dancers just won't hide.
NotTheSharpestSpoon, Oct 19 2006
  
      
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