Tag: musical instruments

Visualizing musical vibrations

[podcast]https://edwardwillett.com/wp-content/upLoads//2011/05/Visualizing-Musical-Vibrations.mp3[/podcast] As the classic Disney animated film Fantasia opens, a symphony orchestra starts to play, and the music emerging from the instruments becomes visible as blasts of color and dancing shapes. In real life, alas, music is primarily an auditory rather than visual experience. Although there is certainly interest to be had in watching a …

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Milestones in musical technology

I’ve always had an interest in the myriad ways art and science intersect: not surprisingly, Leonardo da Vinci is a hero of mine. Few arts have been altered more by advances in science and technology than music, a point made by New Scientist’s Technology Blog recently when it listed five milestones in music technology (and …

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Is it real, or is it ElectroStrad?

Very few violinists ever get to play a Stradivarius, but maybe they can still get the sound: Researchers at Manchester University claim to have a solution for all those string players who wish their cheap violins could sound like a Strad. According to an article in the London Guardian, the researchers have developed an electronic …

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The physics of fiddling

Isaac Stern, master of the complex physics of waveform generation, vibrating wood, and acoustical analysis, died last month. Stern, of course, didn’t think of himself in those terms: he thought of himself as a violinist. But violins are remarkably complex devices. On the surface, they look pretty simple: the bow vibrates the strings, which vibrate …

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One of the problems with being a musician whose instrument of choice is the piano is that it’s very difficult to take your instrument with you to parties. I mean, it’s almost impossible to find a piano carrying-case, and have you ever tried to load one into the hatchback of a Plymouth Laser? (I suppose …

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