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Physics of sound applied to instruments

  1. Apr 6, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    what would the generator, resonator and radiator be for a trumpet, clarinet and piano?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    A generator initiates a vibration, a resonator vibrates at the resonant frequency, and a radiator projects the vibrations into surrounding air.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 6, 2010 #2
    So, do you have any ideas for what the answers might be?
  4. Apr 6, 2010 #3
    If I did, why would I bother asking? I found those definitions in my textbook, but I don't really understand how they apply to certain instruments.
  5. Apr 7, 2010 #4
    How about taking a look at one of them for a start
    the basic design should give you a reasonable idea.
    Check out what the reed does, what the main tube does, and what the bell at the end does.
    Use wiki for the other two instruments or any other internet source.
    Do you know anyone who plays any of these?
  6. Apr 7, 2010 #5
    thank you. I shall look at that. sorry, I don't play any instruments and am not very musical/ good at physics. ummm... my friend plays the trumpet, so I'll ask her about that.
  7. Apr 7, 2010 #6
    That's a good idea to ask your friend about the trumpet. Actually observing one being played will show you a lot more than I can describe here.
    What you should find is that the resonator and radiator for the trumpet and clarinet are very similar. The sound generators are different. Ask your friend how she generates the sound. (There's no reed to help!)
    As far as the piano goes, this is very different. Inside the piano are a lot of metal strings that are struck by hammers. The whole thing is enclosed in a large wooden box! I'm sure your school has a piano somewhere that you could have a look at; and look inside.
    If you're still not sure about the piano, come back here and ask again.
  8. Apr 8, 2010 #7
    thank you so much :) you really have helped me!
  9. May 2, 2010 #8
    hi, stonebridge. sorry to bother you, but I was wondering whether the resonator for a trumpet is the air inside? or the tubes?

  10. May 2, 2010 #9
    It's the actual air inside that resonates/vibrates. This applies to all wind instruments.
  11. May 3, 2010 #10
    ok. thanks :)
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