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Tone by Density
Stronger Tone (70-79 pcf)

The bones on this page produce Stronger tones.

Density tells you how heavy and compact one substance is from another. As a rule, the denser the material, the stronger the tone. Density is calculated by dividing
how much by how big. It is represented here as pcf (pounds per cubic foot). So if you want strong tones, then get dense bones. If you want mild tones, then get less dense bones.

Get the Tone You Want
What is the difference between a mild tone and a strong tone? It's just the difference in tone relative to density. Scroll down to view musical bones grouped by similar tone quality.

Tone Variables
  • Higher moister content produces lower tone. Lower moister content produces higher tone.
  • Smooth textured bones produce sharper tone. Rough textured bones produce duller tone.
  • Wide bones produce a greater tonal range than narrow bones composed of the same material.
  • Thick bones produce lower tones than thin bones composed of the same material.
Tips
Choose less dense (i.e. lighter) bones when you want mild tones that won't overpower other instruments. Choose denser (i.e. heavier) bones when you want strong powerful tones that can hold their own against the roar of the band. Denser bones carry additional mass. This can provide the kinetic energy you need to make a pair of bones rattle easier.

Geeky Facts
Specific gravity is also called relative density. In French, density is "masse volumique." Specific gravity is "densite."


How can this tone guide be improved? Send comments and suggestions.

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Whamdiddle African Blackwood Bones Whamdiddle African Blackwood Bones

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Whamdiddle Granadillo Bones Whamdiddle Granadillo Bones

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Minstrel-style African Blackwood Bones Whamdiddle Minstrel-style African Blackwood Bones

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Density Guide
pcf (pounds per cubic foot)

Figures are approximate (but pretty darn close)

Tone Quality/Density
Mildest Tone 0-29 pcf
Milder Tone 30-39 pcf
Mild Tone 40-49 pcf
Medium Tone 50-59 pcf
Strong Tone 60-69 pcf
Stronger Tone 70-79 pcf
Strongest Tone 80+ pcf


Density/Substance