In some pyrophones, the flame is applied in a very controlled manner, through a precise computerized mechanism; in others, pyrophonists (?) apply the flame by hand, using propane torches and gas cylinders intended for hot-air balloons. The sounds which result may range from dependably clear, steady tones to more discordant, unpredictable noises, described by one reference as "a menagerie of whoops, shrieks and moans." Probably ghastly - but wouldn't you like to hear it? (I searched for an online recording but could find none.)
Pyr"o*phone (?), n. [Pyro- + Gr. sound.]
A musical instrument in which the tones are produced by flames of hydrogen, or illuminating gas, burning in tubes of different sizes and lengths.
© Webster 1913.
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