Helium`s Effect on Wind Instruments

Submitted by: angelicamber 8 years ago Science
/media/96585_HeliumsEffectonWindInstruments.flv
Does sucking helium cause your instrument to go crazy? This experiment answers that question.
There are 54 comments:
Male 193
i`ve got to try that with my french horn
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Male 1,646
i really don`t like this show... everything they do is so unscientific. they had to figure out how fast a car was going, so they followed it with a car and tried to match the speed
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Female 1,199
Hehehehe
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Male 114
YAY
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Male 1,079
Well Of Course. Why else does my instructor always emphasize "good air"?

I can`t really tell the difference, but there obviously is one.

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Male 396
omg freaking sweet
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Male 382
I love Brainiac.
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Male 161
there is only thing someone can suck on that makes my instrument to go crazy.

im sorry but i had to say it.

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Male 5,094
Now, what I`d like to do is to tape up all the seams in a grand piano and fill it with hexaflouride. That`d be awesome!
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Female 427
Actually mr_stache you can go from one pitch to another quite easily without breaking between each note or pausing on notes in between. In fact this is something that is taught by most private instructors. You can bend the pitch to a tone and a half above or below without much trouble...and that is what she did.
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Male 1,263
Haha :D they were playing "The Snowman" theme ^^

anyway
I thought that was pretty cool.

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Female 130
i`m going to cry the next time i watch The Snowman.
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Female 214
"If the instruments were tuned for helium, instead of standard air, you might get no result from this experiment."
Or if everyone had sucked helium. Hey, that`s an easy way to change keys!

"I wonder if a skilled musician could keep the instrument in tune after sucking helium..."
If you can pull out on the instrument probably. But I`m pretty sure most people`s embouchures can`t compensate that much.

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Male 1,036
Brainic is cool
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Male 474
This site is gettin` filled with Brainiac stuff, but I seriously have to admit Brainiac is TEH PWNZERZ!
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Male 142
that was the coolest thing i think i have seen for awhile
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Male 292
Prolly faking it.
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Female 236
ChainsawNbud - If you inhale it from a pressurised tank, your lungs could over-expand and rupture. So yes, yes it can. It can also give you seizures and a stroke and kill all of your organs if you`re not careful.
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Female 2,220
ARGH WTF?!

IT CUT OFF JUST AS THEY WERE ABOUT TO PLAY IT.
And... did Richard Hammond say sucking off? Hahaha. Gotta love him.

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Male 81
i couldnt tell if it worked.
it sounded like ass both times
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Male 133
Oh, and pinker, no that trumpet player would not have been able to do that normally. Logically it would start on the same note because the helium does not reach the aperture until a split second later. Plus, she didn`t go through any partials to get to the D, thus, it had to be the helium.
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Male 133
OMG! I have been wondering about this ever since Physics class. I`ve got to try that now!
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Male 741
too funny!

is there any truth to the rumor I heard that breathing helium can cause a collapsed lung?

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Female 427
I used to be a saxophone major in college i could try to see if i could still stay in tune.

It`s all about mouth shape for winds and how you blow for brass. It may not be the helium but just power of suggestion causing them to change pitch. The trumpet player started out on the same note and went up one and a half tones in pitch but every trumpet player i know can do that by choice...so it leads me to believe that it`s all just the power of suggestion.

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Male 72
good old BRITISH entertainment eh u fellow brits??8-)
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Female 406
COOL!
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Female 576
hahahaha wow that was so funny
i didnt think it would really change :]
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Male 171
Um did the video just end halfway through for anybody?
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Male 666
Sucking helium damages your organs due to oxygen deprivation. This is child abuse/torture. Think of the children!!!+
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Female 164
I could have sworn he said sucking off. Then again, I suppose it was just the accent...

And this honestly surprised me. I play clarinet, but I`ve never tried it on helium (The only time my friends and I suck helium is at parties, and we don`t tend to bring our instruments to said parties, for some reason.) I figured it would sound the same for the trumpet, because the higher voice is caused by the vocal chords vibrating, not the helium itself, so I didn`t think that the helium being pushed through the instrument would matter, since it`s air vibrations, not vocal chords or anything.

I did predict it would change for the clarinets/saxes/oboes (if they had any,) because the reed is basically a vocal chord made of wood.

I wonder if a skilled musician could keep the instrument in tune after sucking helium...

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Male 111
Didn`t see that coming, I thought it was all mentally changing their pitch. Placebo effect
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Female 236
The video came to abrupt halt for me, but walking in the air! ALED JONES!

And no, he said "..the sucking of", which makes it not funny at all. :)

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Male 343
now use hexafluoride
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Female 18
Man, I LOVE Brainiac!
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Male 114
thats so cool, I wish we got to play Nightwish in grade school
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Female 155
ha ha, brainiac, excellent show. i like the amount of caravan violence especially.
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Male 553
did he say that "the ballons full of helium for the sucking off?" LOL
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Male 598
well, the balloons were probably latex-free, just in case...
Plus i knew this was going to happen as I`m in a band in my local school.
Basically helium speeds up sound waves because helium is faster to travel through than air.
If the instruments were tuned for helium, instead of standard air, you might get no result from this experiment.
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Male 2,113
thats funny
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Male 282
At first, I thought that it wouldn`t make a difference unless they were playing a kazoo. Then, once they started playing off key, I realized my error. Pretty sweet.

Being in the Nanny state, I wonder what repercussions occurred after this was shot. Latex allergies and huffing.

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Male 2,216
Walking In The Air by Howard Blake, most famously sung by Aled Jones. I find it amusing that someone would think it`s actually by Nightwish, lol.
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Female 159
Nooooo!! The link broke just as they were about to start playing with helium!!
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Male 576
Its weird seeing a group of kids passing around balloons and inhaling the substances out of them. For some reason it reminds me of something... I just cant put my... finger... wait. What was I talking about? What the hell is going on! Where am I?
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Male 38
Walking in the air.
Nightwish is a cover version.
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Male 2,551
The song, I believe is Walking in the air.
I could be wrong though.
Walking in the air is by nightwish. =D
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Male 236
It didn`t work for me either......... :-(
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Male 1,225
I played that song in middle school, but can`t think of the name. Anyone have a clue?
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Female 289
Pabasa, true but it would be "different." Perhaps a bit of an a-tonal piece a la Glass
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Male 1,383
Ha, trust Brainiac :P It didn`t sound too different, but it sounds strange nevertheless.
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Male 4,012
^ Lol. I can bet it`s not going to be played at higher note.

Begs the question: who thinks of these questions?

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Female 289
Lol awesome. I play piano, though, maybe I should try topical anesthesia for a kick :P
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Female 583
That is freaking sweet.
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Male 2,216
So you should be.

The vid didn`t work for me.

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Female 1,572
Link: Helium`s Effect on Wind Instruments [Rate Link] - Does sucking helium cause your instrument to go crazy? This experiment answers that question.
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