Five tuning forks with Helmholtz resonators

Koenig, Rudolph, Parijs

How does the ear distinguish what we say? In the middle of the 19th century much thinking and experimenting about this question took place. The purpose of these five tuning forks is to imitate vowels from words. The following vowels are involved: ‘OU, O, I, E and A’. The tuning forks were made by the instrument maker Rudolph Koenig, who was specialized in sound. All objects are stamped with Koenig’s monogram and with the vowel in question. As soon as a tuning fork is sounded by a hammer, the fork starts vibrating. By placing the tuning fork to the ear the sound can be heard in amplified form. That is because the sound now reaches the sound sensors in the middle ear through the bones too.

Administration name

Fysisch Kabinet


Five tuning forks with Helmholtz resonators

Translated title

Five tuning forks with Helmholtz resonators


[{'date_of_birth': u'', 'role': u'', 'qualifier': '', 'date_of_death': u'', 'creator': 'Koenig, Rudolph, Parijs'}]


[{'material': 'brass'}, {'material': 'Cork'}]

Object number

FK 0250

Reproduction reference

[{'reference': '..\\images\\Fysisch\\Gekoppelde afbeeldingen\\FK 0250.jpg'}]