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20 votes
Accepted

How does pitch bending work on keyboard percussion

For those who are really curious and not afraid of math, there is a full research article about the subject. The short summary is that pitch bending by pressing a flexible mallet against the bar works ...
ojs's user avatar
  • 3,278
18 votes

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

Previous answers have already elaborated how mechanical means can improve the efficiency of sound transfer from source to ears (or transfer from vibration to sound). From deflectors, to horns to sound ...
Kris Van Bael's user avatar
15 votes

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

In short the question boils down to: are there any other instruments able to produce a spectrum which does not follow the harmonic series, neglecting inharmonicity. Well, any instrument whose ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 5,097
11 votes
Accepted

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

There are "minor third bells" (e.g., church bells) and "major third bells", thus instruments can be tuned to have these different properties. The correct terminology in the context ...
Geremia's user avatar
  • 881
11 votes

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

No, certainly many instruments that make pitched sounds can also make unpitched. Often this means using "extended techniques," i.e. doing "weird stuff" outside of normal practice, ...
Andy Bonner's user avatar
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9 votes

Brass instrument lengths

Thanks to Elements in Space for adding the "acoustics" tag to the question. I browsed "acoustics" and find this nice answer about boomwhackers: https://music.stackexchange.com/a/...
Stewart's user avatar
  • 945
9 votes

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

According to the law of conservation of energy you can't amplify sound without an energy input. What you can do is concentrate the sound locally in one direction using a megaphone at the cost of ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
  • 21.4k
8 votes

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

A violin doesn't resonate to just ONE particular pitch. The wood and the air in the body cavity certainly have resonant peaks, but there are lots of them, and a good violin is designed so that any ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93.7k
8 votes

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

Does natural amplification TRULY exist...? If we replace the word "natural" (since it's not clear what that means in this context) with "non-electrical", then the answer is ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
  • 57.1k
8 votes

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

Adding on PiedPiper's answer, energy must be conserved. Acoustic "amplification" is, as already stated, focusing the energy in one direction but also (the point of this answer) to do ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 5,097
7 votes

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

As the other stated, you can't make energy out of nothing. In addition to the two mechanisms you listed (focusing the sound towards the listener and adding reverberation), I would add one more: ...
user1079505's user avatar
6 votes

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

The explanation of instrument size with relation to pitch is mostly relevant for the lowest notes it plays, not as much for overlapping notes. Also instrument size goes hand in hand with instrument ...
John Belzaguy's user avatar
6 votes

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

Not exactly. The different between "pitched" and "unpitched" sound is actually a matter of degree, not discrete. An instrument that is heard as pitched creates mostly the same ...
NReilingh's user avatar
  • 35.3k
5 votes

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

On the basic assumption that 'amplification' means making a sound louder, then, no, a sound doesn't need to be turned into an electrical signal first. What's needed is an 'acoustic amplifier'. ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
5 votes

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

The term "amplification" in acoustic context is ambiguous and often misleading. While it is widely used and accepted, it's not correct: you can use it, but with awareness. You are having ...
musicamante's user avatar
  • 6,886
5 votes

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

The second lowest overtone of a theoretical drumhead is 2.136x the fundamental mode (+1314 cents) (here, here) which is within 3 cents of a just minor ninth. Also, does a synthesizer count? It feels ...
Edward's user avatar
  • 8,742
5 votes

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

Sometimes a small speaker achieves the impression of extended bass response by engineering a strong resonance at just one low frequency (yes, I'm looking at you, Bose). You get bass, but it's ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93.7k
4 votes

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

Most string instruments include a natural amplifier. As one example, the sound-board of a piano amplifies the sound of the string, which would be quite soft otherwise.
Aaron's user avatar
  • 90.1k
2 votes

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

The acoustics of woodwind instruments are well studied and it's theoretically possible to calculate the notes and their harmonics for any combination of fingerings. There's a web page that calculates ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
  • 21.4k
2 votes

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

... (if we assume that the violin has the perfect size for its pitch) means what the viola should be one and a half times as big as the violin. Normally, it's smaller than that, which means it's too ...
Lars Peter Schultz's user avatar
2 votes

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

I think word missing is resonator. In old churches, you can see a large, thick, octagonal or circular board over the pulpet. It resonates the speaker's words from the pulpit and the acoustics of the ...
chocolopteryx's user avatar
2 votes

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

I want to make some super-nerd comments. When a string is first plucked it briefly supports all possible frequencies. After a short time, it settles down and supports only the harmonics. Coming cold ...
Pbx123's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes

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

In small spaces, room resonances can cause your left and right ear to hear the bass with very different levels or phases, creating a wildly unnatural sound. I can't say for sure that this is what you ...
Edward's user avatar
  • 8,742
1 vote

Piano oscillation on a single string

Beats are a phenomenon that occurs when two sounds of frequencies that are a little different(out of tune) but not too different are played at the same time. This occurs due to the interference of the ...
Tara's user avatar
  • 19

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