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Flimsy bits of wood and tensioned strings

  1. May 24, 2006 #1


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    How do they make them so that these exquisite notes come from them, i mean they are flimsy bits of wood and tensioned strings, is there a (science)
    behind it ?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 24, 2006 #2
    C.V.Raman had done some work on the theory of musical instruments. I'm not able to locate his papers on the net now. I'll post if I find any. Infact, I was watching a documentary about him on TV yesterday, and something similar was mentioned about the Veena - an Indian stringed musical instrument.
  4. May 24, 2006 #3
    I can't speak of the exquisiteness, but the frequency of each successive note is

    f(n) = 2^{\frac{n}{12}} f_{0}
  5. May 24, 2006 #4
    Actually that equation is much better suited for other intruments, say a piano. On a violin you can put your fingers anywhere inbetween the notes that have a counterpart on a piano. The equation I gave is bunk, although I'm sure many violinists stick to notes with this traditional frequency scaling.
  6. May 24, 2006 #5


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    Hi Woolie;
    They're definitely based upon scientific principles, but I don't think that there are any specific formulae or anything involved in the actual construction other than possibly for calculating length and thickness of the strings and where to put the fret. The rest appears to be primarily an artistic/craftsman approach; ie: the selection, shaping and seasoning of the wood. That could probably be engineered if someone were to go to all of the trouble, but the people who make them seem to have a 'feel' for it.
  7. May 24, 2006 #6


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    It is the overtones which determine the timbre (quality of a sound) of a note. Some information is located here; http://www.lichthaus-musik.de/e_otongesang.html [Broken]

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
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