Frequency spectrum of a clarinet

In summary, the clarinet is typically seen as a closed pipe system with harmonics that are odd multiples of the fundamental frequency. However, using the app "SpectrumView," it was found that the amplitudes of the odd harmonics are not completely absent, but rather considerably smaller compared to the even harmonics. This may be due to real-world systems being a mixture of closed and open pipe conditions. A comparison to the spectrum of a guitar's G string, which is a closed pipe, shows a similar trend. This suggests that the reed resonances in the clarinet play a role in filling in the spectrum and this topic is further explored at a provided website.
  • #1
greypilgrim
508
36
Hi.

Usually, the clarinet is presented as acting like a pipe system closed at one end, which only allows for harmonics that are odd multiples of the fundamental frequency. I used the app "SpectrumView" by OxfordWaveResearch to measure the following spectrum:
20180619_163908000_iOS.jpg


Fair enough, the amplitudes of the odd harmonics are considerably smaller than the ones of the even harmonics, but far from "absent". I assume that no real-world system satisfies boundary conditions such as "closed pipe" and "open pipe" perfectly and are a mixture between them, but I still would have expected the amplitudes of the odd harmonics to be much smaller.

Is something wrong with my measurement, or is the closed-pipe-nature of a clarinet really THAT indistinct?

As a comparison, the spectrum of the G string of a guitar (which resembles a pipe closed at both ends), which has the same fundamental frequency:
20180619_164045000_iOS.jpg
 

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  • #2
The short answer to your question is that there are reed resonances in the clarinet that fill in the spectrum. There is a wealth of information on clarinets and other instruments here
http://newt.phys.unsw.edu.au/music/clarinet/
 

1. What is the frequency spectrum of a clarinet?

The frequency spectrum of a clarinet refers to the range of frequencies that can be produced by the instrument. This includes the fundamental frequency and its overtones.

2. What affects the frequency spectrum of a clarinet?

The frequency spectrum of a clarinet is affected by several factors, including the length and shape of the instrument, the material it is made of, and the way it is played.

3. How does a clarinet produce different frequencies?

A clarinet produces different frequencies by changing the length of the vibrating air column inside the instrument. This can be done by covering or uncovering the tone holes with the fingers or by using different fingerings.

4. What is the role of the mouthpiece in the frequency spectrum of a clarinet?

The mouthpiece of a clarinet plays a crucial role in the frequency spectrum by determining the initial vibration of the reed. It also helps to shape the sound and produce different frequencies.

5. How does the frequency spectrum of a clarinet compare to other instruments?

The frequency spectrum of a clarinet is unique to the instrument and can vary depending on the type and model. Generally, it produces a bright and vibrant sound with a wide range of frequencies, making it a versatile instrument in many musical genres.

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