Séminaire n°10

The physics of string instruments

Intervenant : Chris Waltham, Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Date : 25/01/10

Abstract : 
The musical acoustics group at the University of British Columbia is studying the vibro-acoustics of different types of string instruments in a variety of ways. We have made measurements on several harps, small and large, old and new, professionally built and homemade. We have built a violin from balsa wood in order to test vibrational scaling phenomena. Most recently we have tested a guitar, violin, harp and guqin in atmospheres of helium and carbon dioxide in order to understand the behaviour of air and wood modes of vibration. I will present a summary of all our measurements. Our hope is to gain some insight into what makes a good instrument and an attractive sound.