If you have ever rung a bell or coin made of pure silver, you know it makes a very beautiful and unmistakable tone, completely different than striking a bar of brass or steel. How can I find out more about this tone? I assume it is due to harmonics, but I do not know how to find out the differences between the harmonics produced by different materials. I tried looking up "silver xylophone" and so forth, but it is useless. I just get a lot of articles about silver colored xylophones.
closed as off-topic by Dave, Fergus, Shevliaskovic, Jason W, Meaningful Username Apr 2 '14 at 19:37
UPDATE: Based on your comment below:
"For the purpose I am interested in the tonal qualities of silver apart from shape. If you strike ANY silver resonater it makes a peculiar ring that, as I said in the question, is unmistakable. This is the tone I am interested in capturing and studying. If you strike a pure silver coin you will hear what I am talking about. – Tyler Durden"
I suggest that you make a recording of this tone and reference tones (wood, bronze, etc) and feed them to a spectrum analyzer. Run a fourier analysis, and so forth. There you have it, solid data points to compare why silver is so special.
Neither xylophones or bells are made of silver, at least not ones commonly used by hand bell choirs or orchestras.
"Handbells are cast of pure bronze in the approximate proportions of 80% copper and 20% tin. The metal is heated in crucibles to 2,150° F in modern electric furnaces."
Xylophones use wood for the bars.
However I did locate this paper on the acoustic properties of solids including silver.
Materials alone do not fully explain tone (harmonic structure). One should consider shape, size, and how the surface is struck as well as with what material the clapper is made of too.