Incredible – a piece of wood with a voice

The Daxophon by Hans Reichel

Who does not remember to have made a ruler made sound by plucking at the edge of the table as a child. The German guitarist, improviser, composer and instrument inventor Hans Reichel (1949-2011) from Wuppertal has brought this simple principle to a professional level.

A 30 cm long wooden tongue is played with a cello bow. In a resonance box, the sound is picked up by contact microphones. The Daxophon Is an idiophone and at the same time a string instrument.

The Dax takes a decisive function. This is a handy, round shaped block with which the pitch is varied. On one side the block has frets so that sound sequences can be played, while the smooth side allows flowing glissandi.


What particularly fascinates me is the voice-like sound that the Daxophon produces. This comes through vocal-like formants, which arise when the Dax blocks the oscillation in the wood tongue at the contact points.

It can only say yes, no no.

Hans Reichel at a performance

Daxophone: Hans Reichel - Bubu And His Friends
Hans Reichel - Le Bal (excerpt)
Daxophone - Hans Reichel

At the bottom in the related links you’ll find a building instruction on the page (Flash) >downloads.

My colleague Anna-Maria Hefele made me aware of these charming instrument.

Related Links

Radium Audio Ltd: Official. Radiumphonic Inventing Sound Series #1 - Daxophone Dinosaurs, 2013.
soundsculpture. Daxophone - Hans Reichel, 2007.
Dez Tab. Hans Reichel - You Can Dance With Me, 2013.
shuffleboil. Hans Reichel, Ulrichsberg 6.12.09., 2009.
CH1PS. Hans Reichel - Yuxo, 2017.
GeninhaNinha. Hans Reichel Sometimes At Night, 2016.
artazamino. あざみ野コンテンポラリーvol.5 ハンス・ライヒェル×内橋和久 Listen to the Daxophone, 2014.
Shane Speal. How to Make a Simple DIY Daxophone (Hans Reichel Instrument), 2016.
“Hans Reichel (Musiker).” In Wikipedia, December 27, 2016.
luvs7ruck. Hans Reichel - Street Song, 2010.
skincage. Hans Reichel - Le Bal (Excerpt), 2012.
2t22tornadosiren. Daxophone: Hans Reichel - Bubu And His Friends, 2013.
SoundRecordingJP. スティックやクシを用いる奏法【サンレコ2014年6月号連動】, 2014.
SoundRecordingJP. ダクソフォンのセッティング法と弓を使った基本奏法【サンレコ2014年6月号連動】, 2014.
“Hans Reichel.” Accessed March 12, 2017.
“Daxophone.” Accessed March 12, 2017.
Destination: OUT store. “Shanghaied on Tor Road, by HANS REICHEL.” Accessed March 12, 2017.
Reichel, Hans. “ - Flashseite Zum Daxophon von Hans Reichel.” Accessed March 12, 2017.
“Daxophon.” In Wikipedia, December 14, 2015.

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