The monochord was a single string instrument thought to have been created for the purpose of analyzing the mathematical properties of pitch. It is said to have been used by Pythagoras, circa 582 B.C., to determine the common scales used in Western music. Later, medieval monks used monochords to give starting pitches to their choirs.
This instrument was commissioned by Joti Rockwell, music faculty of Pomona College in 2008, and was constructed of curly maple (sides and headstock), spruce (soundboard), and Port Orford cedar (back), with ebony and walnut accents. An antiqued shellac and wax finish and case complete the instrument.