The daxophone, invented by Hans Reichel, is an experimental musical instrument of the friction idiophones category. It consists of a thin wooden blade fixed in a wooden block (often attached to a tripod), which holds one or more contact microphones. Normally, it is played by bowing the free end, but it can also be struck or plucked, which propagates sound in the same way a ruler halfway off a table does. These vibrations then continue to the wooden-block base, which in turn is amplified by the contact microphone(s) therein. A wide range of voice-like timbres can be produced, depending on the shape of the instrument, the type of wood, where it is bowed, and where along its length it is stopped with a separate block of wood (fretted on one side) called the "dax".
Reichel has documented the construction of the instrument in a way that a skilled woodworker could build his own. Plans are downloadable from his website, with a collection of proven shapes for the blade delivered in the file format of a font, thus playing on Reichel's other profession as a typeface designer.
- Some information on the daxophone by Hans Reichel (19 MB)
- Hans Reichel's FMP releases
- Reichel's step-by-step construction of a daxophone
- EFI daxophone information page
- Daxophone video
- Album by American daxophonist Daniel Fishkin, featuring some live-looped daxophone recordings