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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
6
votes
2answers
455 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
278 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
147 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
478 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
175 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
361 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
62 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
202 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 ...
36
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
248 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
279 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
269 views

What is up with the bell on the English Horn?

What is the story behind the shape of the bell on an English Horn? But first, a quick look at the clarinet family for a comparison. The standard clarinet (in Bb or A) has normal looking "bell-...
6
votes
1answer
422 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? ...
8
votes
3answers
123 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 -- ...
3
votes
3answers
520 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
813 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. ...
0
votes
1answer
217 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
58 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
60 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
131 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
258 views

Playing 440 Hz, what are the harmonics for a trumpet? For a flute?

Playing 440 Hz, what are the approximate harmonics for a trumpet? For a flute? This to help students understand the differences when those instruments play the same note. I've been to many website, ...
1
vote
3answers
137 views

Could knocking on solid objects create different pitches and notes? If so, how?

Greetings, my fellow music lovers. I'm not certain if this question is on-topic but it's been bugging me for a long time. When we knock or tap our fingers on wood, or other solid objects, we make ...
3
votes
0answers
54 views

Experienced Music Organization to Partner for Competition using Animal Sounds? [closed]

I am part of a scientific organization that uses animal sounds to study animals & their environments. In an effort to share our science with a wider audience, we were interested in hosting a US ...
2
votes
0answers
60 views

Advice re: Music Composition Competition [closed]

I am part of a scientific organization that uses animal sounds to study animals & their environments. In an effort to share our science with a wider audience, we were interested in hosting a ...
4
votes
1answer
56 views

Why doesn't the flute head joint behave like a Swanee whistle?

I understand the basic physics of a Swanee whistle: shorter tube -> higher pitch. But when I take the head joint off my flute, play a note and poke my finger up the tube, this behaves in exactly ...
5
votes
1answer
617 views

how to play capo and non-capo chords in the same song?

I've read through many forums and tutorials and am still very confused. I'll give an example to make this easier to understand: I'm trying to learn "Across the Universe" by Fiona Apple (...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

Would Wrapping Rockwool in Plastic Ruin its Sound Absorption?

I bought enough 3-inch-thick Rockwool to sufficiently treat my studio's walls, but building (ideally) 11 wood frames does not sound fun. If I were to wrap each piece in a thin but sealed plastic (to ...
4
votes
0answers
157 views

Fiberglass vs Rockwool: What are their pros / cons in making acoustic panels?

I'm trying to decide which material to use for DIY acoustic panels. Rockwool and Fiberglass have comparable sound absorption except for ~125 Hz where Rockwool performs much better. But I can buy 3x as ...
7
votes
2answers
202 views

What is the physical mechanism by which a chord has a root?

When the tones C, E and G are played, C is perceived as the root. In the case of this major triad, the root is easily identifiable. However, for many chords, there is no identifiable root. For example,...
20
votes
8answers
3k views

Why is the 5th stronger than the 1st in guitar spectrum?

I was experimenting with spectrum analysis of guitar plucks and this is what i got on an open low E recording: As you can see the strongest peak is at about 247 Hz, which is a B3 while the peak at ...
3
votes
2answers
145 views

Audio latency in live bands

In computer music one usually says that the audio latency of the system should ideally be less than 10ms… On the other hand, as the speed of sound is around 340 m/s in the air it means that whenever ...
5
votes
8answers
1k views

Can you change some composition I wrote to whatever music you want just by changing the timbre of the instruments?

Here is my problem: suppose I am a composer you have contracted to create any sheet music I dream of with the unique condition it is not pure silence and that I don't stipulate the instrument section (...
23
votes
7answers
8k views

When we press a piano key, why does a high pitch note not run for as long as a low pitch note?

When we press the keys on the piano that exist on the ends, one can notice that when we press a high pitch note, it plays for a short bit and then the sounds fades away. However, when we play a low ...
2
votes
1answer
145 views

Doubt about Harp Sound

I have some doubts about the acoustics of the harp? What is the resonant oscillator and sound effuser on a harp? For example, on a trumpet, the resonant oscillator is the body of the instrument ...
2
votes
1answer
181 views

Flutes in octaves sounds like an organ? Why does this happen?

I have noticed something when I hear 2 flutes in octaves or a flute and piccolo playing the same notated notes, sounding an octave apart. It starts to not sound like a flute. In particular it sounds ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

Transcriptions that (more) directly relate to physical frequencies

Where can I view not traditional Western cleff based transcriptions of music, but rather ones that map directly to the physical differences in pitch being written down? So instead of something based ...
12
votes
3answers
4k views

Is it a coincidence that the length of the body of a violin is pretty exactly one fifth of the wave length of its lowest note?

The standard body size of a violin is 35 centimeter in length. Its lowest note is G3, which has a wave length of 175 centimeter, five times 35. 35 cm is the wave length of B5, which is a major third ...
4
votes
1answer
177 views

Creating a xylophone out of copper pipes

I have been trying to create a xylophone out of copper pipes for a school project and have been running into a few problems with calculating the length of each bar. I have been using this paper as ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Acoustic problem of intonation low on neck

I am a bass player for over 35 years. Also play guitar. I have worked on my own electrics, setting intonation, etc. I have an acoustic. When I tune it, the low E, fretted at the 2nd 3rd frets are ...
0
votes
2answers
112 views

How to make a single instrument fill up a sound spectrum?

I have an instrumental here (not particularly a fan of, but great reference for this question.) This instrumental starts off with and contains a synth pluck with a simple melody. My interest in this ...
1
vote
0answers
36 views

Could you clarify these statements regarding depth in a mix

I'm trying to establish the correct formula for these settings if you guys could correct them. It is imperative you're 100% sure of the answer as this plays a vital piece in my understanding of reverb....
3
votes
3answers
250 views

How long do early reflections take to become audible after direct sound [closed]

When speaking in terms of reverb, how long do early reflections take to occur/become audible after the direct sound? Also, do early reflections dictate if a space is long/short or does it also ...
2
votes
3answers
824 views

How do sound waves travel and their reflections? [closed]

I'm studying reverb from a first principles standpoint and I'm finding it difficult to find this answer in my studies. Firstly is this statement correct? "The quantity of sound waves ejected into a ...
3
votes
2answers
257 views

How could the Greek (Pythagoras et al.) measure the frequencies - as they didn't have a mobile app? [duplicate]

How could the Greek (Pythagoras et al.) measure the frequencies - as they didn't have a mobile app? They didn't have a tuning fork or any other standardized measure. But even without standards they ...
5
votes
2answers
111 views

how to tune a spring?

So here's the situation I'm in; I had this really weird dream with this really weird instrument in it. It was kinda like half a dulcimer with springs on it. There were 11 springs on it, (But I'm ...
2
votes
3answers
621 views

Accounting for intervals not present within the chord ratio?

Here are a selection of chord ratios.. Minor Chord - 10:12:15 Root (1:1) - Major 3rd (4:5) - Perfect 5th (2:3) Major 7th Chord - 8:10:12:15 Root (1:1) - Major 3rd (4:5) - Perfect 5th (2:3) - Major 7th ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Do interval ratios take overtones into account or solely the fundamental frequency?

An interval holds two pitches (C an G). Those two pitches have a fundamental frequency which represents their pitch names, along with their harmonic series/overtones. When we turn that interval into ...
1
vote
2answers
166 views

Harmonic series role in a just intonation interval ranking?

In my studies, I was reflecting on this theory and just wanted your guys clarification.. A pitch in an octave is comprised of a fundamental frequency followed by its overtones. When we focus on an ...
-1
votes
1answer
317 views

I have questions revolving around the formula of producing chord ratios?

Good day guys! Thanks to the gentleman @willross1 and others contributions, i have now discovered the formula behind turning interval ratios into chord ratios, which allows me to determine the level ...
3
votes
1answer
230 views

Stability of chords

I wish to understand the connection of music theory to the physics world, or to waves. In this context, I quite understand notion of dominant chords as containing tritone, which is dissonant. What I ...