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Questions tagged [acoustics]

The physical science of sound production, behavior, and mechanics.

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21
votes
6answers
8k views

Does piano soundproofing require floating walls? Getting conflicting answers from professionals

I have just placed a new hybrid piano in a small 9x13 room in my apartment. I want to use the room for playing and for singing. Costly steps have already been taken, and, much to our dismay, we ...
14
votes
5answers
11k views

Music Theory: Frequencies related to playing a note on guitar

I am studying the physics related to playing guitar. I need to understand the relationship between the fundamental frequency of a guitar string and its harmonics. For e.g., the top string has the ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

What's the purpose of a sound post?

Almost all bowed string instruments have a sound post. It is said that this adds stability to the instrument and also "transmits vibrations to the bottom". Interestingly though, guitars do not have ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

How do multiple sound waves interact physically to create music?

What happens on a physical level when many notes/sound waves interact with each other at the same time? (For example, a big chord on the piano with all of its harmonics/overtones clashing together.) ...
4
votes
2answers
194 views

Calculation of a note's frequency in the 18th-19th century

Suppose you are trying to reproduce an A major scale from the early 18th or 19th century, when A4 was perhaps tuned to 429.3Hz. What is the correct frequency (in Hz) for the next C# up (assuming we ...
22
votes
9answers
4k views

Why do listeners hear the lowest note of a chord most distinctly?

Source: Prof. Bruce Taggart (PhD in Music Theory, U. of Pennsylvania), 58 s of his Coursera video. The lowest note of a chord is the most important one. It's the one that the listener hears most ...
29
votes
4answers
9k views

Physics behind why a bugle can play several notes, while a whistle only plays one note

A bugle and a whistle are essentially both tubes open at both ends. A bugle has no keys, yet you can play several notes on it. A whistle also has no keys, but it only plays a single note. Why is this? ...
20
votes
4answers
5k views

Why do certain rooms/vessels respond to specific frequencies?

Since I was a kid I was always wondering why is it that when I sing in a small room (i.e. bathroom!), whenever I touch a certain frequency, the whole room vibrates sympathetically. What are the ...
19
votes
1answer
3k views

How does a pipe organist deal with latency or delay?

I've seen church setups (choir loft in back) where the organ console is 30 Meters or more away from the pipes. That implies that there would be a minimum of 100 milliseconds from pipe sounds back to ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

What is brightness?

I hear the term get thrown around a lot, and it seems pretty nebulous. Usually, it's invoked under the heading of tone, but I've heard it linked to intonation and a handful of other categories. At the ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

Flat-wound vs round-wound strings

What difference can you expect when playing with flat-wound vs round-wound strings on an electric bass/guitar? I know that they feel different - I am asking explicitly in terms of sound.
4
votes
1answer
300 views

Is there an amp power formula?

I'm looking to buy a new amp for my keyboards, and I was wondering if there's a formula I can use to help me calculate some of the objective specs I should look for. Something along the lines of: I ...
2
votes
6answers
463 views

What does it mean to play a note for half a second?

This is my first serious look at the science side of music, as I am getting started with audio programming, and I am greeted by an awkward bouncer first up. I know that a note is simply a certain ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

At what point in history did the relationship between pitch and frequency become well-known among musicians?

I think I've read that even very ancient cultures were able to discern that an octave difference corresponded to a pipe of twice the length, and so on. But at what point were musicians and composers ...
10
votes
3answers
10k views

Why do people place speaker cabinets or combo amps on top of things?

In a lot of gigs I've played, I have noticed that they have placed the amplifier speaker cab (usually just the bass amp) on top of a chair or a stool or something, so as not to be on the ground. What ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Does environmental (or food/drink) temperature have an effect on the voice?

Does ambient temperature (i.e. winter vs summer) or food/drink temperature (i.e. cold vs hot) have an effect on voice: Texture Pitch/range Strength
5
votes
1answer
50 views

Microdynamics of bow rosin and strings

Discussion in comments here questions whether the rosin on bow hairs changes physical characteristics in the course of stimulating vibration in a string. Consensus seems to be that: the physical ...
5
votes
4answers
788 views

Why is a Perfect Fourth Considered Consonant? [duplicate]

I've been doing some research into the harmonic series lately. What I've come to understand is that the lower the ratio between the harmonics, the more pleasant/consonant the interval is. So, an ...