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Inquiry-Based Labs in Musical Acoustics M. S. Pettersen Washington & Jefferson College.

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Presentation on theme: "Inquiry-Based Labs in Musical Acoustics M. S. Pettersen Washington & Jefferson College."— Presentation transcript:

1 Inquiry-Based Labs in Musical Acoustics M. S. Pettersen Washington & Jefferson College

2 “Good Vibrations:” a course in musical acoustics for non-majors Goal: bring active learning into a class for non- science majors Studies show active learning methods are more effective (Laws; McDermott; Redish and Steinberg; Birk and Foster; etc.). –Students see and hear phenomena for themselves. The best way to learn about science is to practice it –It’s fun, too!

3 … which implies that the course should: Include the old-fashioned kind of experiments that students can see, hear, feel Alternate bench-top experiments with measurements of real instruments, acoustics of campus auditoriums, etc. –Using Vernier Software’s Logger Pro –Using free software from the internet Incorporate music listening

4 Old-fashioned experiments Siren discMonochord (sonometer) Melde’s apparatusChladni plates

5 New-fangled experiments using Logger Pro Overtones Inharmonicity in the piano Percussion instruments and virtual pitch Differences among the woodwinds Sound envelope Echoes Auditorium acoustics

6 Inharmonicity of the piano

7 Percussion instruments; virtual pitch TimpaniBass drum

8 Differences among the woodwinds Clarinet: odd overtones only (one end open, one end closed) Saxophone: particularly strong second harmonic Flute: almost pure fundamental

9 Auditorium acoustics Reverberation time is about 1 s

10 New-fangled experiments using software; Electronic music Fourier synthesizer Java applet Spectrogram software Software synthesizer (electronic instruments).mp3 compression with MediaMonkey Signal processing and sound editing with Audacity

11 Fourier synthesizer Java applet

12 Spectrogram software A.Aaaaaaaaaaa! B.FFFFF Note formants, overtones

13 Signal processing and sound editing with Audacity Row, row, row your boat….

14 Listening Bach Brandenburg #2: overtones on the Baroque (valveless) trumpet Berlioz Requiem – Dies Irae (Tuba Mirum) – speed of sound

15 Sources Evolution eKeys Keyboards: Auditory Demonstrations CD: Fourier synthesizer Java applet: Spectrogram software: Media Monkey audio format converter and.mp3 ripper: Audacity sound editing and processing software:


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