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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000367.txt from 1999/04

From: Note Staff Unlimited <>
Subj: Re: [kl] re: Density of Wood
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 1999 21:04:37 -0400

David Renaud schrieb:

> >>>I would point folks to the following Scientific American article, mentioned on
> > ths very mailing list in February, 1998, which states among other things that
> > as long as wooden walls are thicker than 2 mm, they will not vibrate.
> >
> >
> > Tim Roberts,<<<<<
> Thank you for posting this interesting link.
> Thoughts on quotes from the article:
> >>>> The sound itself comes from the vibrating air column inside the instrument.
> This sound is produced through the end or through open tone
> holes, not by vibrations of the instrument's body,
> as is true of string instruments.<<<<<
> To clarify, I have not asserted that the vibration of the instrument
> is producing a sound. I have been exploring the thought that
> the vibration of the instrument may influence the vibration of the
> air column, thus influencing the tone.
> >>>Dozens of published reports, some
> dating back 100 years, converge toward the same general conclusion:
> so long as the walls are thick enough to remain
> rigid--about 0.4 millimeter (0.016 inch) for metals, two millimeters )
> for woods--and the inside walls are smooth, the
> kind of material used for a wind instrument is, for the most part, immaterial.<<<
> I do not see as you assert he say's "the wood does not
> vibrate", he may very well know the wood vibrates, but is
> of the educated opinion that "for the most part"(interesting
> choice of words) it is immaterial.
> "While those vibrations may not affect the sound significantly, they certainly
> affect how
> the instrumentalist interacts with the instrument," Holmes explains."
> See, he does recognize that the wood vibrates, but is of the
> educated opinion that it is not "significant"(Interesting choice of word)
> I think this opinion about interation agrees with what Mr Garrett has been
> saying.
> As for the expression "for the most part"
> I know a couple engineers with masters and PHD's that could
> not tell the difference between even oboe or clarinet timbre by ear.
> The little difference that one person says makes no difference
> for the most part may make all the difference to the artist.
> If we depend on machines to discern the difference, I am
> skeptical of any machines ability to analyze timbre accurately.
> I would never dream of using a $2000 machine even tune a piano,
> let alone voice the tone.Timbre is subtle enough that some
> artists still prefer analogue to digital recording, even at the
> best possible resolution, because theses artists claim the machine
> can't even record the timbre accurately enough for their satisfaction,
> let alone analyze it.
> > >If the vibration of the material makes no difference, then why does
> > >grabing hold of the barrel while playing, restricting vibration, alter
> > >the timbre slightly?
> > >>>My first answer would be "because you want it to." Given a mechanical air
> > source and mechanical pressure on the barrel, I'd wager good money that an
> > unbiased observer would not be able to tell when pressure was applied to and
> > released from the barrel.<<<<
> This could be tested by devising a devise to attach to the barrel with
> pressure,designed to restrict vibration, and have people play on there
> own equipment blinded to if the device is presently on or off.
> And thank you again Mr. Roberts for the link.
> I am and will continue researching this.
> Any other links are welcome,
> and non ridiculing arguments appreciated.
> Anyone have gasoline for my bon-fire.
> Sincerely
> Dave Renaud
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks for your perserverence! I am still dying to know why clutching the barrel
changes the sound. I would also love an explanation for the changes in tone and
attack brought about by "Resonance Spectral Tuning" as it *seems* logically
impossible to me. For that matter, any experiments with encasing the barrel in water

David Glenn

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