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March 14 2012

Singing highways

by Sino Concept


musical road in Gylling, Østjylland, Denmark

Are you tired of listening to the same old songs on the radio? Then it is time to try out one of the world's musical roads.

These are stretches of road that use well spaced bumps or grooves to create tunes that vibrate throughout your car. 

The principle is similar to those 'rumble strips' that prevent you from falling to sleep on the highway, but these are much more tuneful.




the Asphaltophone

The first known musical road, the Asphaltophone, was created in October 1995 in Gylling, Østjylland, Denmark, by two Danish artists.

The Asphaltophone is made from a series of raised pavement markers, spaced out at intervals so that as a vehicle drives over the markers, the vibrations caused by the wheels can be heard inside the car.

You can see the ashpaltophone in action towards the end of this video. Unfortunately there aren't any subtitles, so if you don't speak Danish skip to 1:30.


an interview with the inventor of the asphaltophone, the first musical road


Melody Roads in Asia

Japan's Shizuo Sinoda claims credit for independently discovering the effect after he drove over some grooves he had scraped into the road with a bulldozer. He realised that it was possible to create different notes and then tunes by varying the depth and spacing of the grooves.

In 2007, he continued his experiments with the Hokkaido National Industrial Research Institute

The results can be seen in the video below.


Musical roads in Hokkaido, Japan


There is also a musical road in Anyang, South Korea...


The "Amazing" singing road of Anyang, South Korea


Unlike the Japanese roads, however, which were designed to attract tourists, the Korean road is an experiment in keeping motorists awake. It seems that 68% of traffic accidents in South Korea are due to inattentive, sleeping or speeding drivers.  



musical roads in the usa

The Civic Musical Road was built in Lancaster, California on 5 September 2008.

The Musical Road used grooves cut into the asphalt to replicate part of the Finale of the William Tell Overture - as long as you are driving slower than 70km/h.




Unfortunately, this brilliant invention was paved over on 23 September after nearby residents complained to the city council about noise levels.


Traffic calming solutions from sino concept

If you are looking for more traditional approaches to traffic calming we can help.

Sino Concept is a French owned and operated manufacturer of street furniture and traffic safety devices.

Take a look at our new vulcanized rubber Speed Cushions pages.


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