On singing roads, you don’t need any expensive car stereo.
Want to listen to a poor quality, out-of-tune rendition of a famous melody when driving your car? A singing road can do this using wheel vibrations!
The sound of rumble strips alerts you and prevents accidents. The pitch of the sound can be controlled depending on the spacing between the bumps or ridges. And so, you may even create a melody by varying the spacing between the ridges correctly. Just like this:
Close together ridges (say 6mm apart) give high notes, and far apart ridges (say 12mm apart) give low notes. The sound is normally of poor quality. Moreover, to work, the car has to drive at the right speed. But when all conditions are met, then it’s really cool! Isn’t it?
Japanese have the most melody roads. The optimal speed is at 28mph (45km/h). Some of the well-known melody roads are:
- Route 370, Wakayama prefecture, plays Miagetegoran Yorunohoshiwo
- Numata-shi, Gunma prefecture, plays “Natsuno Omoide (Summer Memories)”
- In City of Lancaster, USA, the road is found along the westbound stretch of Avenue G between 30th and 40th Streets West.
- The road in Anyang, Gyeonggi, South Korea is meant to play Mary Had a Little Lamb when driving at 100 Km/h and was designed to help motorists stay alert. However, the videos I have heard all sound pretty terrible and the tune is unrecognizable.
- An early singing road was the Asphaltophone in Gylling, Denmark. It used raised pavement markers and was constructed in 1995 by artists Steen Krarup Jensen and Jakob Freud-Magnus.
Changing roads into musical instrument is really a cool idea! What about you?