Unsound Reasoning; March 1998; Scientific American Magazine; by Harby; 2 Page(s)
At a recent conference on music and human adaptation at Virginia Tech, physicist John W. Coltman demonstrated what he first described in the early 1970s. After asking the attendees to divert their eyes, he played the same tune twice on the flute. He then asked whether anyone heard any difference between the two performances. No one spoke up; the two were virtually indistinguishable.
Then Coltman revealed his trick. The first time he performed the tune, he played it on a simple side-blown flute made of lightweight cherry wood. The second time he used a flute of identical design, except for one detail: it was made of concrete.