Acoustics and the performance of music by Jürgen Meyer, Uwe Hansen

By Jürgen Meyer, Uwe Hansen

This vintage reference on musical acoustics and function perform starts off with a short creation to the basics of acoustics and the new release of musical sounds. It then discusses the details of the sounds made via the entire normal tools in a contemporary orchestra in addition to the human voice, the way the sounds made by means of those tools are dispersed and the way the room into which they're projected impacts the sounds.

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That portion of time during which the tone is developed from complete rest to its final state. 2. , that portion of time during which the tone is practically not subjected to change. 3. , that portion of time during which the tone, after completion of the excitation, dies out to complete silence. The starting transient, in particular measure, contains characteristic features, which make it possible to distinguish between instruments. Often components are present which are no longer contained in the later tone picture.

For a string or woodwind forte, this lies in the region of 85–95 dB, for brasses it can be an additional 10 dB. These values are in reference to the sound running directly from the instrument to the ear, without the amplification due to the surrounding room, they thus approximate a free field situation. This limitation is an advantage for subsequent room acoustics considerations. The level may not always be the same for both ears, since many instruments are held at the player’s side. 8 shows the level difference at the ears of several instrumentalists.

Naturally, the decay can be influenced within certain limits by playing techniques. As was already recognized from Fig. 2, the nature of the decay for bowed string instruments depends on the bowing force, and is longest when the bow is lifted. It can also be shortened when the string is retuned by a change in fingering. Such a string frequency change can be compared to the opening or closing of keys or valves in wind instruments. These phenomena have particular significance for connecting two tones: by overlapping the decay of the first tone into the onset transient of the second, the melodic line gains continuity, while an all too sudden cut often leads to unwanted gaps.

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