Real Rock Music: Stonehenge might have been a musical instrument

By Joy Perrone,

Researchers are now saying that the famous Stonehenge rocks have sonic abilities, and might have been used like a gigantic xylophone.

The Stonehenge rocks in Wiltshire are a mystery that scientists love to try and figure out, with new theories popping up every few months about the construction of Stonehenge and its purpose.

Researchers from the Royal College of Art in London are now saying that the rocks have "unique acoustic properties," reports, BCC News. The team found that rocks in the Preseli Hills, where many of the Stonehenge rocks come from, have a sonic property. When hit with a hammer, the rocks in the Preseli Hills "ring just like a bell", according to Paul Devereux, lead researcher on the case. The sounds are so clear and varied that the researchers enlisted the help of percussionists who were able to create full musical pieces using the rocks.

Scientists have long wondered why the people who built Stonehenge lugged the heavy rocks nearly 200 miles from where they originated. "There had to be something special about these rocks," says Devereux. The Daily Mail reports that the team was granted permission to test the rocks at Stonehenge for this musical property, and found that several made distinct, though muted, sounds. Many of the rocks are missing chunks, which could be from being hit with hammers to make music. Researchers hypothesize that the sound is muted because of the use of concrete to restore the rocks.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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