The College of Ghent student wanted to design an instrument capable of greater volume


A student from University College Ghent in Belgium has discovered that Styrofoam can be an unlikely but effective tool for amplifying the sound of a traditional cello.

Through a series of experiments the student found that sound waves produced by the vibrations of the cello strings were magnified by the closed cell structure of the polystyrene foam. He therefore created a prototype instrument with a 1.5cm thick Styrofoam covering, which produces greater volume with less effort and a more prominent bass register.

‘At first I was surprised,’ he said. ‘But I did some tests and the sound was indeed much louder with the Styrofoam. It creates new possibilities for musicians and even composers.’

Watch a video of the instrument being performed on the Flanders News website.

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