Why California's Musical Road Sounds Terrible



In Lancaster, California, there’s a musical road. When you drive over it, it plays the William Tell Overture. Unfortunately, it’s out of tune. Here’s why.

Thanks to David Simmons-Duffin, who figured this out about nine years ago: — he seems to be the first to have figured out not just that it’s wrong, but exactly what happened!

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25 comments

  1. All of the dumber because a diagram would have cleared everything up. Pass your practical ideas through the hands of an engineer before your work crew

  2. Important to note: Lancaster is super super ghetto, and not worth traveling there to listen to the road. I promise

  3. They probably also forgot to take into account that any change in temperature in the concrete would cause the intonation to go out of wack

  4. I can't believe they passed this crucial information in a way that could be misinterpreted. On the other hand, maybe they thought it didn't need to be clarified, because what kind of idiot wouldn't just automatically know that in a musical road the feature that matters is the total length. I guess they found out what kind of idiot…the kind they hired.

  5. Indiana has a musical road on i65. Not on purpose. It’s annoying as can be. I hate driving over that section of road.

  6. ok I don't live in landcaster but I live in the city right next to it so I can confirm it does sound like that

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