Bō - Experimenal Musical Instrument

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Project by Jacob posted 11-23-2012 06:40 AM 2125 views 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Posting this older project as I have just recently did some photography for my upcoming portfolio review.

This is a final product for a class I took with a brief to design a new and conceptual instrument.

I could describe in length the design process in which I started researching unsophisticated tribal and ancient instruments (drums, didgeridoos, bullroarers) and my process of building/testing—But we are all about the wood here so I will save that and just include a link to my online portfolio which goes more in-depth. ( and mention only how it is made and it what it does.

You swing the instrument like a sword or light saber or various training weapons in martial arts. The wind vibrates the large rubber “reed” which is held in tension.

The body of Bō is made of bent laminated beechwood, two halves between which I sandwiched a strip of walnut. The clamp like appendages which hold the band in tension are also walnut. The body forks out into two parts where the rubber blade is, this opening allows wind to hit the rubber on its knife edge, which generates the most vibration. Further, in this region where it forks into two halves, they have been sculpted down into airfoil shapes.

The brass hardware is also custom, I cut the knobs and threaded pieces on the lathe from a solid rod of brass. Ebony inlay at the top appendage on the seam from the walnut piece to the engineered beech body.

The entire piece is finished in wax.

It is super fun to use, but most certainly only for big rooms or outside. It make some awesome sounds, and in fact, on a breezy day will work just by holding it into the wind, so it requires not a great deal of energy to play.

Anyways, tell me what you guys think,


-- -Jacob Turetsky, Industrial Designer

10 comments so far

View Jordan's profile


20 posts in 2678 days

#1 posted 11-23-2012 07:25 AM

That thing looks pretty awesome, I definitely would like to give it a swing.

-- Jordan, BC

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30505 posts in 2945 days

#2 posted 11-23-2012 09:44 AM

Pretty incredible. You obviously put a lot of time in researching it as well as building it.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View cdarney's profile


104 posts in 3638 days

#3 posted 11-23-2012 01:10 PM

I think it’s great! It’s just the kind of thing my son loves. How long is it? The picture of one in use looks different than the “final” version. It might be a fun project to try.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23765 posts in 3713 days

#4 posted 11-23-2012 01:56 PM

Very well done. Thanks for sharing. We all learned something today!!..........Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View a1Jim's profile


117909 posts in 4184 days

#5 posted 11-23-2012 04:40 PM

Unique and interesting.


View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 3590 days

#6 posted 11-23-2012 06:11 PM

awesome piece. should give you good workout

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4202 days

#7 posted 11-23-2012 08:59 PM

very cool and definitely unique

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View Doe's profile


1430 posts in 3437 days

#8 posted 11-23-2012 09:29 PM

Way cool. What does it sound like?

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View citeog's profile


4 posts in 2617 days

#9 posted 11-24-2012 02:08 AM

Very innovative.


View Lumberpunk's profile


334 posts in 2944 days

#10 posted 11-24-2012 08:00 PM

cool! can you post a recording?

-- If someone tells you you have enough tools and don't need any more, stop talking to them, you don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

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