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Questions tagged [acoustics]

For questions about the physical science of sound production, behavior, and mechanics. Generic physics questions should be asked at our sister site Physics Stack Exchange.

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Is there a system behind recorder fingering charts or do people just memorize them?

I'd like to understand how recorder fingerings work, e.g. for a Baroque alto recorder. Let's say you know which holes are open, which ones are partially open and which ones are closed. How can you ...
zabolekar's user avatar
  • 183
7 votes
2 answers
704 views

When people say that viola and double bass are too small for their range, what does it mean?

I'll stick to the viola example, though I've heard similar arguments made about the double bass. I've seen the following reasoning: the viola is tuned one fifth lower than the violin. A perfect fifth ...
zabolekar's user avatar
  • 183
19 votes
1 answer
1k views

How does pitch bending work on keyboard percussion

There is a less known technique for keyboard percussion that allows some form of pitch bending. For example: These are some way of getting it, but a similar effect is ...
musicamante's user avatar
  • 6,851
16 votes
3 answers
3k views

Are bells the only instrument whose second harmonic forms a minor interval with its fundamental?

I heard (from a Paccard church bells rep) that bells are the only instrument whose second harmonic forms a minor interval with its fundamental. Is this true?
Geremia's user avatar
  • 881
10 votes
13 answers
3k views

Does natural amplification TRULY exist in acoustics or does it have to be turned into an electrical signal first?

I have seen people claim these two scenarios as being possible acoustic amplifications. My question is, are they TRULY amplification or are there any other types of acoustic amplification in existence....
Lecifer's user avatar
  • 964
-2 votes
1 answer
123 views

Professionalism at piano playing [closed]

What is the easiest way to get professional on the piano and what is the trick behind using two different hands to play several different notes with different fingers. How is the memory improved by ...
Cornelius's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Are percussion instruments the only instrument type capable of making an unpitched (indefinite) sound? [Electronic instruments excluded]

I just want to confirm, wind instruments and stringed instruments are completely incapable of creating an unpitched sound correct?
Lecifer's user avatar
  • 964
2 votes
0 answers
82 views

Bass vibration coming from outside

I have a low bass sound in my house that comes from a hvac from a bakery. It's not very loud but it's very hard not to hear. It's variating depending on external condition (in hot weather it's hell) . ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 21
7 votes
1 answer
356 views

Brass instrument lengths

I assume (perhaps wrong), that the fundamental frequency of brass instruments can be calculated with the wave equation: c = lambda * f, WHERE: c = the speed of sound. I calculated this to be 349 m/s ...
Stewart's user avatar
  • 893
1 vote
1 answer
47 views

Can a reed be mounted to directly vibrate strings? [closed]

Can a reed be mounted in such a way as to directly vibrate a string? Granted that for the sake of playability, the string instrument would have a length similar to a 1/8 violin. Also, how much would ...
D-Squared's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
299 views

Feeling that speaker's low bass getting stuck in one's ear

(The feeling is is subjective, but it is very hard to describe technically.) I have a speaker with very strong bass, which is fine, but when I play music with it, even in extremely low volume, it ...
Ma Joad's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
51 views

Modeling end-blown flute instrument using adaptive filter

I want to find the resonant frequency of specific end-blown flute called Persian ney, Using LMS in arrangement of system identification. Two signal is needed for algorithm: system excitation (x) ...
mohammadsdtmnd's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
167 views

Piano oscillation on a single string

Why is that when the hammer hits only one string on the piano, there is an oscillation and not a solid note throughout. I hear it like a wave of sound, not an absolute pitch. It doesn’t happen on ...
Dan's user avatar
  • 31
23 votes
9 answers
3k views

Does the audio an instrument emits above 20 KHz affect how the instrument sounds?

It's commonly held that humans can hear sounds in the range 20 Hz - 20 KHz. But most acoustic instruments will emit sounds outside that range, for instance breath sounds from flutes and recorders, bow ...
Brian THOMAS's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
547 views

Pitch and Hearing beginner question

I'm a total newbie. And I'll pretend there are no black notes so it is easier for me to explain. CDEFGABḈḊ (where Ḉ and Ḋ are one octave above C and D) When a Musician says, "oh, C and Ḉ are the ...
Dilshan's user avatar
  • 91
2 votes
2 answers
716 views

Grand piano positioning to compromise between acoustic and good piano care

After owning a digital then an upright piano, I am now considering the possibility of acquiring a baby grand piano (166 cm / 5'5" according to the manufacturer's website). But since a grand is, ...
Clockwork's user avatar
  • 593
2 votes
4 answers
252 views

Does it make sense to invest in a better microphone if my recording room doesn't have good acoustics?

I record some of my own music at home, including singing. The microphone I'm using is not very good (it's a essentially a podcast microphone, some reviews explicitly say that it's not really suited ...
Andreas Windmann's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
347 views

Are there advanced high-quality violins like Strads with 4 fine tuners? Does any concerto virtuoso use 4 fine tuners? [duplicate]

Are there advanced high-quality violins with 4 fine tuners? (like Stradivarius.) Are there advanced violin concerto virtuosos players using violins with 4 fine tuners? Below are some related ...
wonderich's user avatar
  • 921
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why don't two Boomwhackers with a one-octave pitch difference have a 2:1 length ratio?

I frequently use the tuned percussion tubes Boomwhackers in my elementary music teaching. I noticed something odd about them. When I compare the smaller and larger C tubes, they sound one octave ...
nuggethead's user avatar
  • 5,511
4 votes
1 answer
221 views

Is a solo cello strong enough to make a piano ring?

I attended a concert once where a trombone soloist played his instrument pointing towards the strings of a grand piano (lid propped fully open, pianist depressing the pedal). The effect was amazing; ...
nuggethead's user avatar
  • 5,511
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

What's actually going on with the Leslie effect?

Hammond organs often use the Leslie effect, which is produced by a rotating baffle and horn. They speed up and slow down at different rates, and have become the 'Hammond sound'. But what's actually ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
5 votes
1 answer
183 views

What is a listener's typical audible angular resolution?

According to wiki, the human eye has an angular resolution of ~1 arcminute, which means you can distinguish things that are 30 centimetres apart at a distance of 1 kilometre. But your ears have a much ...
Brian THOMAS's user avatar
  • 11.6k
18 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why are end-blown flutes shorter than their ideal length?

A flute is an open cylinder air column instrument. This means that an idealised flute, the fundamental pitch of the flute should have a wavelength of twice the length of the flute. This isn't exactly ...
naught101's user avatar
  • 2,258
19 votes
10 answers
7k views

Why do two identical notes never cancel each other out?

If we consider a note as a sine function with a certain frequency (ignoring timbre), if you start playing another sine function, even with the same frequency but starting at a different offset, ...
Powereleven 's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
432 views

Grand piano placement

Sadly, I don't enjoy playing my August Förster (170 cm) grand piano. Tones sound harsh and music blasts into my face instead of being 'in front of me'. I feel like I can insufficiently distance myself ...
Daan's user avatar
  • 387
0 votes
1 answer
253 views

How to calculate the expected pitch of the sound?

My question comes from MUS 204, stating: If we know that the noise wave being looped is 128 samples long, and that the audio playback rate is 44,100 samples per second, calculate the expected pitch of ...
Renée's user avatar
  • 127
7 votes
3 answers
835 views

Vibration Modes of Drums

I just learned in the context of a PDE course how the various modes of vibration arise as solutions to the 2D Wave Equation. I am curious as to how many of these describe the motion of actual drums. ...
user82425's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
205 views

Equal Temperament as a Stack of Just Intervals

Recently I came up with interesting discovery how to get equally tempered tones by using a stack of just intervals 3/2 and 5/4. Since they are a part of most harmonic cord, major triad, should be ...
Vinkelman's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
640 views

harmonics in violin strings

a friend of mine is playing violin, and she explained to me that she can hear if she plays a false note because the string doesn't resonate well i find it very counter intuitive based on what i know ...
hugogogo's user avatar
  • 163
15 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is the ear really phase insensitive?

According to Ohm’s Law of Acoustics, the ear is phase insensitive due to its resonant structure. For example, changing the phase angle of the 3rd harmonic of a note drastically changes the shape of a ...
Brian F's user avatar
  • 349
6 votes
2 answers
626 views

Bass sine wave on an acoustic instrument

Is there an instrument that can produce a sub bass sine wave like tone, that also has a lot of volume? Something that would sound a bit like an 808 bass. I've listened to some contrabass type flutes ...
AvidListener's user avatar
5 votes
5 answers
842 views

Influence of room acoustics on practicing (woodwind) instruments

While practicing flute I noticed I find it much easier to have a good tone when I practice in my living room then when I practice in my normal (music)room. I was thinking that this could be because of ...
Tim H's user avatar
  • 5,138
6 votes
5 answers
2k views

How does temperature affect tuning?

Off the back of comments on one of the answers to this question: How do room layouts affect tuning? So, I know the short answer is "It depends on the instrument", but ideally I'd like to ...
Pam's user avatar
  • 355
2 votes
3 answers
727 views

How do room layouts affect tuning?

For background, I am not a musician, but I know a few things from physics. Physics tells us that we should perhaps expect that if your room changes, then you might need to tune your instruments ...
QCD_IS_GOOD's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is "Young's modulus", and how does it relate to guitar?

I've come across some posts that mention "Young's modulus" in relation to guitar. Young's modulus is discussed on physics.SE (Young's Modulus and Vibrating String Harmonics), but I'm looking ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 89.2k
14 votes
3 answers
1k views

Bridge intonation patterns on stringed instruments

On stringed instruments, the scale length needs to be slightly adjusted (at the bridge) for each string so that the first octave happens at the 12th fret/position, the 2nd at the 24th, etc. My ...
Alexbib's user avatar
  • 623
2 votes
1 answer
85 views

Current consensus on consonant frequencies

I just read Physics and Music: The Science of Musical Sound Book by Donald H. White and Harvey Elliott White and the book explains that consonant frequencies — those sounding "good" when ...
Weier's user avatar
  • 221
0 votes
4 answers
6k views

Does swaying your head like Stevie Wonder improve your musical hearing?

Stevie Wonder famously sways his head left and right when he's performing on stage. I've always thought that it was a listening technique linked to his blindness; I assume you can locate sounds easier ...
New User's user avatar
38 votes
8 answers
5k views

Is there a broader term for instruments, like the gong, whose volume briefly increases after being sounded instead of immediately decaying?

For most instruments, their sound immediately begins to decay after they first sound. When you strike a piano key, for instance, the loudest sound is at the very beginning, after which the sound ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 84.6k
3 votes
2 answers
595 views

How do double-length piano strings sound different?

The Klavins 450i grand piano plays the same pitches as a conventional piano, but its bass strings are about twice as long (and presumably have different density and more tension, to compensate). The ...
Camille Goudeseune's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
390 views

Do all fundamental frequencies have 1 anti-node and 2 nodes

Given any musical instrument, when a note is played on the instrument, does the fundamental have only one node and 2 antinodes (Theoretically fundamental frequencies should have half wavelength)? If ...
hancel dsouza's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is up with the bell on the English horn?

What is the story behind the shape of the bell on the English horn (AKA the cor anglais)? But first, a quick look at the clarinet family for a comparison. The standard clarinet (in Bb or A) has a ...
Elements In Space's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

What are brass instrument "pedal tones" and "false tones", and how are they different?

The below two questions resulted in some debate, confusion, and consternation: What are the acoustics of brass instrument pedal tones? What are brass instrument “false notes” and how are they played? ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 89.2k
8 votes
3 answers
417 views

What are the acoustics of brass instrument pedal tones?

The natural range of a standard Bb trumpet, for example, extends down to F# (i.e., concert E), but by adjusting one's embouchure and air, it's possible to produce lower pitches. Those lower pitches -- ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 89.2k
3 votes
3 answers
623 views

Harmonic Series Interference

I have been analysing intervals to look at the frequency difference between harmonics. Before my analysis I was under the impression that harmonics for 'consonant' sounding intervals contained more ...
Yoppayoppa's user avatar
10 votes
5 answers
859 views

What is the relationship between where and how a vibrating string is activated?

My understanding is that each string on a musical instrument/chordophone has a "sweet spot", such that when a string is activated at that point, the "best" sound is produced. ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 89.2k
0 votes
1 answer
2k views

Upright piano: High pitched chime-like ringing noise

On a new upright piano that is freshly tuned, I hear a high pitched chime-like noise specially when I press and release two mid-range notes simultaneously, like B3-flat and D4. The noise is like ...
xaratustra's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
310 views

Why do frequencies that follow a base two logarithmic relationship sound the "same"? [duplicate]

We know that frequencies that follow a base two logarithmic relationship sound as the same tone. This seems to be one of the fundamental principles that underlies music theory. For example, ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 83
2 votes
1 answer
86 views

What to do to improve bass resonance in mid sized piano?

Got myself a mid sized piano (110 height). Great tone in upper area but lower area is collapsed compared to a full size piano (of course). Has anyone tried to reduce acoustic shortcuts in smaller ...
Teson's user avatar
  • 121
1 vote
4 answers
195 views

It it possible to find the equation of any melody, in principle? [closed]

I was wondering, is it possible to work out the equation of a melody from looking at the soundwave (although I don't know how one could obtain it from the recording)? How hard would this be? What ...
Riamada's user avatar
  • 21