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If you don't mind some equations, you might look at "Why do choirs work?" for a bit of mathematical analysis of a closely-related question. The key observation in the question there is that the mean amplitude of N people playing the same note together, with random phase-shifts, is proportional to the square root of N; the perceived loudness is ...


Just for adding another (non-acustical) argument to the given answers: Smaller ensembles need at least one instrument of each part, this results in 1:1:1:1 Bigger ensembles simply reflect and represent the statistical spread of preferential instruments in the normal population.


It is mainly because increasing the number of instruments in a section does not actually make the section much louder, mostly it just makes it sound “denser”. Any doubling of the number of unisono instruments effectively increases their volume by 3 dB. Note that dB is a logarithmic scale, corresponding to the ears' response. In other words, to effect a ...


Unfortunately upright bass strings don’t typically give diameter measurements like electric bass strings do. Instead they are usually identified by gauge or tension, light, medium and heavy. This combined with the fact that they cost a lot of money makes it hard to select one with confidence. For jazz I prefer a brighter string like a D’Addario Helicore ...

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