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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000458.txt from 2001/02

From: David Glenn <>
Subj: [kl] experiments on instruments
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2001 17:40:52 -0500

William Wright wrote:

> -snip-

> The standard 'proof' that material/thickness does not make a
> difference has never made any sense to me. The standard 'proof' is
> that vibration sensors placed on the outside of the instrument detect
> only minimal energy. If energy isn't escaping, then the tone must be
> unaffected? IMO, this says nothing about what may be happening inside
> the instrument.
> I'll never have the opportunity to do such an experiment myself,
> but the idea is certainly interesting. It's hard to imagine how, if
> material/thickness makes a difference in barrels, it wouldn't do the
> same in a complete instrument. I suppose you could argue that the
> complete instrument is more massive, and/or somehow the increased mass
> and self-correcting qualities of tone holes and 'non-straight-cylinder'
> shape either overpower or compensate for material/thickness effects.
> ....and perhaps this experiment has been performed rigorously
> already?
> Cheers,
> Bill


My friend who did the resonance spectral tuning had some experiments done at
the Fraunhofer Institut here in Germany with violins. They constructed a
bowing device and analysed the tone with and with out the changes to the
outside of the body of the violin. The changes were temporarily caused by
applying mass to the violin and removing it again (whereby the exact points
of application are very significant). The differences in the amplitudes of
the different overtones were significant. I would have to ask for the
details. But this is a repeatable experiment. Unfortunately, as far as I
know, it hasn't been done with clarinets. I remember Tony P. telling of a
clarinet blowing machine but can't remember what experiments he told about in
this context.


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