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Homework Help: Showing different physics quantities of a drum pad

  1. Feb 26, 2012 #1
    Hey, atm I'm working on a physics project for school where we pick an instrument and answer questions about it that we'll have to present in class. I'm going to use a drum pad. The one question I'm stuck on is:
    I'm not sure if this would be right but please correct me if I'm wrong:

    For frequency, I was just going to play the same beat.

    For amplitude, I'm going to hit the pad harder to show a higher amplitude and softer for a lower amplitude.

    For resonance and overtone, I have no idea what to do.

    The definition I have for resonance is - occurs when small repeating forces are repeated at regular intervals to a vibrating or oscillating object and the amplitude increases.

    The definition I have for overtone is - A musical tone that is a part of the harmonic series above a fundamental note and may be heard with it.

    I am really clueless on this and any help would be great.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 26, 2012 #2


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    Homework Helper

    A drum pad is not an instrument - it is a convenient practice device used to do everything you would do with a drum, except make a loud noise. It does not have resonance, nor overtones/harmonics.

    You could try an actual drum head - but even that is a 2 dimensional vibrating surface, so doesn't have the usual harmonics you are familiar with.

    The Harmonics and overtones we generally consider in a study of sound, are those we find in Western music.
    They come about that way due to nearly all the instruments having long, thin [almost 1 dimensional] vibrators.
    Strings for Violin, viola, cello, bass, guitar, harp, piano, etc
    Long,thin air columns in flute, oboe, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, Clarinet, Saxophone, Pipe-Organ, etc
    If you study non-Western music [Indian, Indonesian, African] "our" traditional harmonics do not have a part.
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