A Sympathetic Nail Violin

As a hacker community, we are no strangers to beautiful and unique musical instruments. A sympathetic nail violin built by [Nicolas Bras] is a welcome addition to the eclectic family. Working up from the simple idea of a nail in a piece of wood and adjusting the pitch by hammering the nail farther into the wood, [Nicolas] expanded the idea. With careful planning and tuning, the nails can have sympathetic properties. These properties mean that when one nail is played via a bow, it causes other nails to sound, creating harmonies and sustains.

With a bit of careful woodworking and a scant touch of metalwork, an instrument was crafted. It offers vast flexibility as it can be played by bow, by plucking with your finger, or by strumming. There are several levels of nails, each level having a paired sympathetic nail. This allows for a diverse and versatile instrument.

Here at Hackaday, we seem to have a thing for tiny violins, whether physical or virtual. While the nail violin may not look like your traditional violin, we can certainly appreciate the wonderful music it creates.

5 thoughts on “A Sympathetic Nail Violin

  1. Amazing! I have a couple of questions though. First, could it be played like a hammered dulcimer (hammering the nails with little hammers). Secondly, could the nails be replaced with “filed” screws (screws with the “screw grove” filed off) to allow bowing of the instrument while retaining the ability to retune by screwing/unscrewing the screws? Still love it.

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