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Re: Sad Songs Make Me Cry (Was Parasaurolophus Greastest Hits)




On Wed, 17 Dec 1997, William Monteleone wrote:

> People have been making replicas of Parasaurolophus crests and
> trumpeting into them for a couple of years now. But has anyone stopped
> to think that we're still missing the soft tissues which made the
> sounds? Garbage in Garbage out.

        In a word, yes.  I believe that it has been acknoleged that the
sound produced would have been influenced by soft tissue to a small
extent. However, the soft tissue is not what makes a resonance chamber
work.  Further comments below.
 
> Imagine if you found a fossilized trumpet without the mouthpiece. You
> could never reproduce a Dizzy Gillespie solo. The same is true of a
> Parasaurolophus crest. All we have is the approximate shape of the bony
> tissues which form a resonant chamber. But that's not enough!

        Actually, that's not true.  I've played trumpet for years.  One
does not actually NEED the mouthpiece to make a trumpet's notes.  I've
tested this myself. All the mouthpiece does is make it easier, and way
less stressful on the lips. 
        Most of the sound qualities associated with resonance chambers are
determined by the lengths and diameters of the chambers (the tubing
involved). The musician (or Parasaurolophus) can manipulate the sound only
by varying the speed at which air is passed through the chamber or by
altering the pressure at which it's introduced.  In truth, this only
changes the notes played, not the pitch or timbre of the sound produced.  
        Having said all of that for the sake of justification, the sounds
claimed to be a reasonable imitation of what a Parasaurolophos might sound
like, though not necessarily identical, should be "in the ball park" as
that the part that would've been responsible for the pitch and timbre 
(the resonance chamber) is well represented in the fossil record.  Sounds
produced could be shaped further, but the basic sound is a result of the
dimensions of the passages in the crest itself.


> Take a look at an Austrailian diggery-doo sometime. It just looks like a
> long tube. But what you do with your lips, cheeks, tongue, lungs, and
> nose create an incredible array of different sounds and rhythms. I'm
> sorry to say that we have no more reproduced the music of a hadrosaur
> than we could reproduce the infrasonic rumblings of an elephant by
> holding it's dead skull up to our lips.

        Rythm is operator decided.
        Notes vary, but... well, you get the idea.
        I'm no expert on elephants (or music, for that matter), but I bet
that elephants use a different method fo sound production than resonance
chambers.  Anyone? 

                                No roasting intended,
                                but plenty expected in return,
                                        Scott McCray