Aeolian Harps & Singing Telephone Poles
by Christie Pontello
Singing Telephone Poles
Apparently, any box with a hole and with strings over it will act as an Aeolian harp. So, if you have the right location and pull out a guitar or violin or standing bass and put it in a slip stream of wind, it will sing.
Telephone poles also sing. That's how I discovered the concept years ago. There was a gent online who showed how to make a speaker so you could "listen" to telephone poles, then he wanted you to record them and send the recordings to him to put on the Web.
Unfortunately, I lost his email address and no fracturing of English has aided me in Googling him. I tried everything I could. No luck. So, I tried Aeolian harps since that is what was happening.
The telephone wires "sing" and the pole connects them to the earth. The pole acts like the neck of a guitar or banjo, and if you put a sound box to it (his was a string to a cup and diaphragm, kind of like an eardrum), you can hear the sound.
The number of telephone wires, their relative sizes, and composition, plus the space betwixt the poles all vary the sound quality/quantity and note/tonal range, along with wind speed, and humidity.
As an electrician I have been on roofs on windy days and heard, without a sound box, singing wires. It was weird, and I had to explain it to my coworkers. (They do electric, not sound propagation.)
The gent online had a website that had as its subject "singing telephone poles." If anyone has info on that, please post a comment here so I can look it up, since I've lost all the files I had found on the subject.