Monday, September 12, 2016

30 Days of Weird Instruments, DAY 4 – Civic Musical Road

If you've driven over a toll road, you've probably experienced those speed grooves that make a "BMMMMP" sound to warn you of approaching tolls. Now imagine using a bunch of them to play a song!

In September 2008, a quarter-mile stretch of road between 60th and 70th Street West in Lancaster, California was made into “Civic Musical Road.” Named after the Honda Civic and featured in one of the company’s commercials, the road used speed grooves attuned to specific notes to play out a short snippet of the William Tell Overture’s Finale whenever a car drove over it.

Unfortunately, the constant noise annoyed some of the surrounding neighbors, so it was paved over less than a month after it was created. A separate group of neighbors then complained about its removal, and it was recreated in the left lane only. The moral, apparently, is you can't expect everyone to agree on everything.

Neither speed nor car model is said to affect the pitch, and watching multiple videos confirms this. The idea is very cool, but a warning to musicians with good pitch – the tones aren't quite right, so listening to this may hurt your ears.

Tomorrow’s instrument is really painful to step on.

Purchase I AM DRUMS!

No comments:

Post a Comment