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Playing concertina in space!


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With recent discussions about boxes to keep instruments securely inside, and issues on valves etc... it occurred to me that it's gravity that pulls on everything.. I wondered how the instruments would be affected in outer space!

With no real gravity to affect the valves, bellows, and so on.. on the Space station, for example, I would think that bellows would seem a little more sluggish in pressing in and out, and felt on buttons lift away?

How about it? Anyone out there willing to become astronaut and take their concertina into space?

It would be interesting to know how the mechanism, sound, is different in weightless conditions; have a word with NASA.. ? A sort of Space Station Sonata!

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Have a spare $8200 to answer the question?  
 

Private company does zero-G “Vomit Comet” flights:

 

https://www.gozerog.com

 

Or maybe take it on one of those “slingshot” rides at the fair. 🙂

 

My guess is it would play exactly the same as in normal gravity.  
 

I was surprised to learn that the ISS maintains the same 14.7 psi air pressure and oxygen/nitrogen ratios as sea level on Earth. It would have made a big difference in pitch if it had been much different as has been the case on previous NASA space missions. For example, Apollo 11 had 100% oxygen at 5 PSI.

 

 

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That would make a big difference to the pitch of a wind instrument but I would expect only a small effect on a concertina, where the pitch is determined mainly by the mechanical properties of the reed and only a little by the acoustic properties of the reed chamber.

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Thanks for adding to my unusual thoughts or topic; maybe they should have added a squeeze box on the Voyager satellite things ( years back).. I like to think of it now somewhere millions of miles away, beyond solar system, being discovered by some alien person, who actually plays it quite nicely! 

You never know!!!

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1 hour ago, Richard Mellish said:

That would make a big difference to the pitch of a wind instrument but I would expect only a small effect on a concertina, where the pitch is determined mainly by the mechanical properties of the reed and only a little by the acoustic properties of the reed chamber.

I'm not even sure that it would affect a wind instrument as long as the air pressure and temperature was normal.

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So, what would happen, assuming I was astronaut doing spacewalk, happening to have ( in my back pack).. a little concertina... Would that vacuum of space cause it to crumple up, ( no air to contain within bellows)..and so  release one last note, lost in the void, that may never be heard? Being, apparently mostly airless?!!! Or maybe that lost soulful note could travel for ever into blackness, and get  picked up by a musical alien person, on a distant planet somewhere as yet unknown!

 

 

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On 4/7/2022 at 4:57 PM, Clive Thorne said:

I'm not even sure that it would affect a wind instrument as long as the air pressure and temperature was normal.

 

 

Several astronauts have played flutes in space : Ellen Ochoa, Cady Coleman and Ye Guangfu all had a go on various flutes. So that works.

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I'd totally forgotten about the concertina in "Prometheus", thanks for the reminder!

G*d, that was a horrible movie, other than the opening and the "Engineer" scenes, which were amazing. The rest, just tentacles.

 

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50 minutes ago, eskin said:

I'd totally forgotten about the concertina in "Prometheus", thanks for the reminder!

G*d, that was a horrible movie, other than the opening and the "Engineer" scenes, which were amazing. The rest, just tentacles.

 

I agree. I don’t even remember the opening or the “Engineer” scenes (or the tentacles, for that matter). Just the birth of the Alien at the end and the concertina (but no real playing).

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On 4/7/2022 at 11:51 PM, SIMON GABRIELOW said:

So, what would happen, assuming I was astronaut doing spacewalk, happening to have ( in my back pack).. a little concertina... Would that vacuum of space cause it to crumple up, ( no air to contain within bellows)..and so  release one last note, lost in the void, that may never be heard? Being, apparently mostly airless?!!! Or maybe that lost soulful note could travel for ever into blackness, and get  picked up by a musical alien person, on a distant planet somewhere as yet unknown!

 

 

Any remaining air in the bellows would not have the corresponding external air pressure to contain it, so it would apply some pretty large forces to the insides of the instrument in a bid to escape. The bellows would probably swell up and rupture, how explosively depends on how much air was inside and if any keys were pressed to allow it to escape. After it had equalised, I suspect you could open and close the bellows at will, whether or not any keys were pressed, and that not only would there be no sound, but neither would the reeds oscillate. A grim prospect for any concertina player, but others might disagree!

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