Sound & Hearing

Gaussian Melody

Three steel balls fall through an array of pins to produce a random melody. The pin array emulates the classic Gaussian distribution demonstration in which numerous balls are fed at the top of a triangular array of pins, then bounce through the pins to become distributed along the bottom with a Gaussian profile. This distribution is not obvious with just three balls, however the pins are set in at different depths which in conjunction with the erratic path of the balls produce a random “Gaussian” melody. The array and sound box are mounted on a pivot so the balls can be rotated back to the top of the array.