Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Abbey Road never sounded this good... at 28 Mph!

If you are traveling by car in Japan, don't be alarmed if music begins playing in your cab... even when the radio is off.

Japan's "musical roads" are a creation of Hokkaido Industrial, as such, it is no wonder that they built their three prototypes on Japan's northern island (named Hokkaido). The melodies are created by cars driving over grooves in the road (grooves, LOL), much like one would a speed bump, which cause a tone to travel through the cab of the car. In order for the melody to play correctly -sound like a normal tempo, recognizable pop song, that is- one must travel no faster or slower than 28 Mph (45 Km/h).

From The Guardian News: "You need to keep the car windows closed to hear well," wrote one Japanese blogger. "Driving too fast will sound like playing fast forward, while driving around 12mph has a slow-motion effect, making you almost car sick."

The roads are identified by a large musical note (actually denoting a break in the song) printed in the asphalt. The idea for the creation of the roads came about by accident when construction, worker and melody road patent, Shizuo Shinoda, accidentally struck grooves into the road with his bulldozer and later drove over them to find they produced interesting tones.

This from Deputy-dog: "Questions remain as to the long-term effect of the Melody Road on tire wear, whether the altered roadway will need more maintenance over the years, and if Japanese citizens will rebel against what seems to be an extravagant use of public funds for no real purpose. Then again, this is Japan - therefore, it's just business as usual!"

Watch this video for a demonstration of the roads in action:


Or listen to a sample here.

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1 Comments:

At Nov 13, 2007, 8:04:00 PM, Blogger Kip said...

I couldn't imagine this working on our northern Michigan roads. The tiniest crack in one road can turn into a pothole come wintertime once the ice settles into 'em.

 

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