This musical instrument was Inspired by Parasaurolophus in structure and sound — a dinosaur with a cranial crest that produces sound, with the size emulating the cranial crest’s size at roughly 5 feet. I had to navigate a trade-off between realism vs ergonomics and weight. It is heavy and big, with the PVC pipes designed and connected with PVC glue. I experimented with the thickness and found 2 inches to be good for echoing and noise creation as other sizes did not sound as deep as the reconstructed sound of Parasaurolophus. To translate a concept from inspiration to a working musical instrument, a trombone was the perfect match and one that produces the sounds effectively. It also has an adjustable pitch frame, and a tradeoff I had to make was between coupling size limitations and comfort, flexibility, and ease of the sliding mechanism. The mouthpiece was made of epoxy putty on PVC pipes that were of different sizes. Three extensions create a deep, echoing sound. Additionally, I made an aesthetic choice of extensions simulating organic forms as well as an all-black coloration. Finally, I strapped a cushion as a shoulder rest with a military weapon aesthetic made of a sown cushion and a foam pad for ergonomics. I note some of the trade-offs I had to do while designing:
Ergonomic experience of holding
During the process, I learned:
Applying epoxy putty
Mold-making for wooden extensions
(1) Brainstorming process including different possibilities for the construction of the instrument, observing the cranial structure of Parasaurolophus, the dinosaur with a sound-producing cranial crest, and how that could be replicated, in addition to other possible dinosaur-inspired instruments.
(2) Blueprint sketches and conceptual thoughts about form, structure, and possible research questions for development.
(3) Blueprint measurements including distance between parts, amount of parts to buy for each type of part, and notes.
(4) Assembling parts together with PVC pipe glue and ordering the parts using the blueprint sketches.
(5) Assembled product.
(6) The next challenge was figuring out how to make a functional mouthpiece. I tried making a wooden mouthpiece until I figured out small PVC pipes of different sizes connected together with the form of a trombone mouthpiece would create a sound. I tested using duct tape and then assembled using epoxy putty.
(7) Assembled epoxy putty product.
(8) After making a functional mouthpiece, I used the remainder of my time to work on the aesthetic and design of the product. I made a mold for wood I was going to bend to create wooden extensions for the instrument.
(9) Bending the wood using pressure clamps.
(10) To glue the extension attachments to the instrument, I had to make a flat surface for them to rest. I made wooden sheets as the resting pieces.
(11) Gluing the extensions on the flat, wooden sheets using clamps.
(12) Spray painting the instrument for an aesthetic touch.
(13) Final product.