Chordophones Physics of Music PHY103 Tradeoffs in chordophones Strings only High tension means a lot of stress on the instrument. More massive strings have lower pitches under lower tension However thick strings don’t bend very easily
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Physics of Music PHY103
Higher harmonics are higher than multiples of fundamental
Why? Wave equation requires more energy for shorter waves – non-linear wave equation on string
a) Piano playing C4
b) Piano playing C4 but the partials have been lowered by digital processing so that their frequencies are exact integer multiples of the fundamental.
Pair of tones repeated 3 times.
– metallic – less damping but heavier, harsher and more damaging to fingers and fret-boards
– Gut or nylon – softer/duller but lighter and damping faster
The string excites harmonics, some are amplified more than others depending on the coupling of the string to box and the way the box resonates.
note the envelope!
spectrum is remarkably harmonic
At different times
Moonlight Sonata Beethoven
This clip from: http://www.slate.com/id/2245891/
the comparison from the posted article by Jan Swafford!
Modern pianos have bigger keyboards, longer sustain and more uniform timbre across registers
Composers used the longer sustain and differences in timber as effects
Music taken from CD Musical instruments of the World 1990 CNRS
Sound is influenced by position of plucker
Sound is influenced by weight of hammer, material of hammer and leverage of hammer.
For plucked and hammered tones, there is no control after the note sounds
Which one is which and how might you expect the sound would be different?
Disadvantages: noise pickup, need vibrating metal
Advantages: interesting sound quality, no need for sound board, good sustain
Advantages: flat frequency response, very cheap, resistant to noise pickup, no need for sound board
Disadvantages: possibly less dynamic range, pickups up surface noise, clicks, knocks, scrapes, plucking