I usually build boxes for speakers, but I would like to build a box for a hand crank music box to have a strong resonance.

Like this : https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/27/Small_music_box.jpg/1280px-Small_music_box.jpg

Can I apply some of the theory used for speaker boxes ? If yes :
How is the volume of the box calculated ?
How many holes should I put ?

  • The wood and its thickness will have just as much impact on resonance.
    – Tim
    Mar 8, 2021 at 9:22
  • The tag 'lutherie' doesn't relfect the question. It refers to stringed instruments other than violins, etc.
    – Tim
    Mar 8, 2021 at 12:27
  • 1
    Not enough for an answer but i don’t think you can use Theile-Small parameters (used for speaker enclosures) to design a musical instrument because those parameters are based on loading a comical dynamic speaker driver specifically. Mar 8, 2021 at 12:43
  • @ToddWilcox - that's a funny comment..! Likely a typo?
    – Tim
    Mar 8, 2021 at 14:23
  • @Tim : what tag should I use please ? I did not know what to choose..
    – fallais
    Mar 9, 2021 at 13:19

2 Answers 2


I assume, it is more a kind of sound board, what is needed. You have to amplify the thin sound of the metal tongues and any resonating mass will do (similar to a tuning fork held on some furniture for amplification).

If you insist of giving it a box shape, I expect a single whole to suffice and the diameter to depend on the ratio between air transmitted sound (directly generated by the tongues) and sound board transmitted sound. I can't imagine that the former will contribute much except for the very high frequencies.

  • Thanks a lot ! What I can understand then is : good, dry and hard wood, the shape does not count but is will basically be a "board". A point is still not clear : how much wood ?
    – fallais
    Mar 9, 2021 at 13:23

Compare with the tuning box you can build/ buy that is stimulated by sticking a tuning fork into a close-fit hole in the top. for example, here's one designed for 440 A. Here the box top is the "sound board guidot refers to.
The problem you'll run into is trying to get balanced resonance across all pitches, rather than the single frequency the tuning box is designed for.

  • Thanks ! I could simply give it a try ! Or, but it seems to be very hard, I could identify the "main" frequencies of the song (for example its tonality and the 3rd and 5th) and try to mix the shape so that they can work for that frequencies
    – fallais
    Mar 9, 2021 at 13:24

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