While the history of musical instruments is nearly as old as civilisation itself, the science of acoustics is quite recent. By understanding the physical basis of how instruments are used to make music, one hopes ultimately to be able to give physical criteria to distinguish a fine instrument from a mediocre one. At that point science may be able to come to the aid of art in improving the design and performance of musical instruments. As yet, many of the subtleties in musical sounds of which instrument makers and musicians are aware remain beyond the reach of modern acoustic measurements. This book describes the results of such acoustical investigations - fascinating intellectual and practical exercises. Addressed to readers with a reasonable grasp of physics who are not put off by a little mathematics, this book discusses most of the traditional instruments currently in use in Western music. A guide for all who have an interest in music and how it is produced, as well as serving as a comprehensive reference for those undertaking research in the field.
The Physics of Music and Color deals with two subjects, music and color - sound and light in the physically objective sense - in a single volume. The basic underlying physical principles of the two subjects overlap greatly: both music and color are manifestations of wave phenomena, and commonalities exist as to the production, transmission, and detection of sound and light. This book aids readers in studying both subjects, which involve nearly the entire gamut of the fundamental laws of classical as well as modern physics. Where traditional introductory physics and courses are styled so that the basic principles are introduced first and are then applied wherever possible, this book is based on a motivational approach: it introduces a subject by demonstrating a set of related phenomena, challenging readers by calling for a physical basis for what is observed. The Physics of Music and Color is written at level suitable for college students without any scientific background, requiring only simple algebra and a passing familiarity with trigonometry. It contains numerous problems at the end of each chapter that help the reader to fully grasp the subject.
Why does a harpsichord sound different from a piano? For that matter, why does middle C on a piano differ from middle C on a tuning fork, a trombone, or a flute? Good Vibrations explains in clear, friendly language the out-of-sight physics responsible not only for these differences but also for the whole range of noises we call music. The physical properties and history of sound are fascinating to study. Barry Parker's tour of the physics of music details the science of how instruments, the acoustics of rooms, electronics, and humans create and alter the varied sounds we hear. Using physics as a base, Parker discusses the history of music, how sounds are made and perceived, and the various effects of acting on sounds. In the process, he demonstrates what acoustics can teach us about quantum theory and explains the relationship between harmonics and the theory of waves. Peppered throughout with anecdotes and examples illustrating key concepts, this invitingly written book provides a firm grounding in the actual and theoretical physics of music.
Comprehensive and accessible, this foundational text surveys general principles of sound, musical scales, characteristics of instruments, mechanical and electronic recording devices, and many other topics. More than 300 illustrations plus questions, problems, and projects.
This book uses acoustics, psychophysics, and neurobiology to explore the physical systems and biological processes that intervene when we hear music. It incorporates the latest findings in brain science and tone generation in musical instruments.
"Covers the physics of waves, sound, music, and musical instruments at a level designed for high school physics. However, it is also a resource for those teaching or learning waves and sound from the middle school through college, at the mathematical or conceptual level. The material will be most useful for high school physics teachers and for high school physics students who have neither a background in waves nor in music but who desire a firm foundation in both. Most books written on the topic of musical acoustics tend to be either very theoretical or very cookbook style. The theoretical ones provide for little student interaction other than some end of the chapter questions and problems. The "cookbook" style provides instructions for building musical instruments with little or no explanation of the physics behind the construction. This curriculum attempts to not only marry the best ideas from both types of books, but to include pedagogical aids not found in other available resources."--Introduction on website.
The Physics of Music by ALEXANDER WOOD.PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION: I HOPE that this little book may serve as an introduction for some to the very interesting borderland between physics and music. It is a borderland in which the co-operation of musicians and physicists may have important results for the future of music. The typescript and proofs have been read by Miss Nancy Browne from the point of view of the general reader, and many obscure passages have been clarified. On the technical side I am indebted to Dr Pringle, who has read the proofs and given me valuable criticism and advice. Miss Cawkewell has helped me with the illustrations, Mr Cottingham has supplied the photographs for Figs. 1.7 to i. io, and my secretary. Miss Sindall, has been responsible for the typing and for the assembly and preparation of the material. Because of the help received from these and others the book is a much better book than it would otherwise have been. For its remaining imperfections I must take full
This text has been out of print since 1990; it was originally published by Solomon Press in 1987. Several experts in the field have verified that the information in the book remains constant; nothing has, or will, change in the basic science of musical sound. It explains the science of musical sound without the encumbrance of detailed mathematics. It will appeal to music lovers as well as students of music and students of physics. It can easily be promoted with our physics program.
Distinguished physicist describes the scientific principles of musical sound in a non-technical way: development of human hearing, properties of sound curves, transmission and reproduction of sound curves, more. Includes 75 illustrations.
This classic work deals in a nonmathematical way with the interface between physics and music. There is a general introduction to wave motion and sound--its generation by vibration and the its reception by the ear and the brain. The sections that follow discuss consonance, dissonance, characteristic sounds of major instruments, the mechanical reproduction of music, and acoustics.
Sound is invisible waves moving through the air around us. In the same way that ocean waves are made of ocean water, sound waves are made of the air (or water or whatever) they are moving through. When something vibrates, it disturbs the air molecules around it. The disturbance moves through the air in waves - each vibration making its own wave in the air - spreading out from the thing that made the sound, just as water waves spread out from a stone that's been dropped into a pond. This books explains acoustics (the physics of sound waves) as it relates to music and musical instruments. At also includes suggestions for explaining these concepts to younger audiences. Catherine Schmidt-Hones is a music teacher from Champaign, Illinois and she has been a pioneer in open education since 2004. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois in the Open Online Education program with a focus in Curriculum and Instruction.
This book, a classic in its field, analyzes objective, physical properties of sound and their relationship with psychological sensations of music. Furthermore, it describes how these sound patterns are generated in musical instruments, how they propagate through the environment, and how they are detected by the ear and interpreted in the brain.
Volume 1: Stringed Instruments, Pipe Organs, and the Human Voice
Author: William Ralph Bennett Jr.
This textbook is a product of William Bennett’s work in developing and teaching a course on the physics of music at Yale University to a diverse audience of musicians and science students in the same class. The book is a culmination of over a decade of teaching the course and weaves together historical descriptions of the physical phenomena with the author’s clear interpretations of the most important aspects of the science of music and musical instruments. Many of the historical examples are not found in any other textbook available on the market. As the co-inventor of the Helium-Neon laser, Prof. Bennett’s knowledge of physics was world-class. As a professor at one of the most prestigious liberal-arts universities in the world, his appreciation for culture and humanities shines through. The book covers the basics of oscillations, waves and the analysis techniques necessary for understanding how musical instruments work. All types of stringed instruments, pipe organs, and the human voice are covered in this volume. A second volume covers the remaining families of musical instruments as well as selected other topics. Readers without a background in acoustics will enjoy learning the physics of the Science of Musical Sound from a preeminent scientist of the 20th century. Those well versed in acoustics will discover wonderful illustrations and photographs depicting familiar concepts in new and enlightening ways.
The Science of Music provides students with an overview of musical acoustics, including waves and resonance, the auditory system and psychoacoustics, musical scales and members of the orchestral instrument families, room acoustics, audio technology, and data sonification. Over the course of 20 chapters, students learn the role of vibration in creating sound, how to understand simple harmonic motion with the assistance of mathematical equations, and the enormous effects that sound has on us. Chapters are dedicated to timbre, auditory scene analysis, tuning and scales, and the original instruments of voice and percussion. Students explore the history, composition, and science of instruments in the woodwind, brass, and violin families. Closing chapters discuss analog and digital audio technology, and auditory display and sonification. Comprehensive and approachable, The Science of Music is ideal for general education courses in musical acoustics. Students of introductory physics or acoustics courses may also find the text particularly valuable. Additionally, the book could serve as a great guide for musicians who wish to know more about the science behind their art.
There has always been a close connection between physics and music. From the great days of ancient Greek science, ideas and speculations have passed backward and forward between natural philosophers (physicists) and musical theorists. Measured Tones: The Interplay of Physics and Music, Second Edition explores the story of that relationship in an entertaining and user-friendly way. The book provides an easy-to-understand introduction to the physics involved in every stage of the music making process: from the very earliest experiments on vibrating strings and primitive sound makers to the latest concerns of digital sound recording, MP3 files, and information theory. At the same time, it examines the story of our developing concept of the universe we live in: from the ancient visions of a cosmos regulated by the music of the spheres to our current understanding of an expanding universe controlled by the laws of quantum mechanics and string theory. Running through all this is one recurring question - the so-called puzzle of consonance. Why do humans respond to music and musical sounds the way they do? It is the attempts by musicians and scientists through the ages to apply new knowledge to answer this question that gives this story its fascination. Measured Tones should provide rewarding reading for any physics teacher or student who would like to know more about music and where it impinges on their subject as well as for anyone who is musically inclined.
This extraordinarily comprehensive text, requiring no special background, discusses the nature of sound waves, musical instruments, musical notation, acoustic materials, elements of sound reproduction systems, and electronic music. Includes 376 figures.