Printer Friendly

Tapping a violin's vibrations.

"For years, we've dreamed of being able to see and to understand exactly how a violin moves," says violin maker and researcher Carleen M. Hutchins of the Catgut Acoustical Society in Montclair, N.J. Now, computer-based techniques like "modal analysis" are bringing this goal closer.

In his experiments, Kenneth D. Marshall of the BFGoodrich Research and Development Center in Brecksville, Ohio, using a miniature hammer that measures force, lightly taps the surface of a violin at more than 200 locations to excite its natural vibrations. An accelerometer attached to the violin's top plate measures its motion, and a computer compiles the data.

Recently, Marshall used this technique to get a "first look" at how the presence of a musician alters the vibrational behavior of a violin. The results show that a violin vibrates less strongly when held by the player than when suspended by rubber bands (a method used in the past for studying violin sounds). "At times the difference can be enormous," he says.
COPYRIGHT 1985 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:acoustical research
Publication:Science News
Date:May 11, 1985
Previous Article:The squeal of chalk.
Next Article:Traces of soft-bodied beasties.

Related Articles
Bowing to a digital sound.
To build a better violin; can scientists determine why some instruments sound great?
Drawing a violin bow to new lows in music.
3 incumbents retain seats on school boards.
Progressive MS.
Stem cells & MS: what the investigators see.
Alfred Desio.
Your next floor: real-world advice from studio owners on how to choose.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters