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Open AccessArticle

Frequency Measurement of Musical Instrument Strings Using Piezoelectric Transducers

by Nicolas Lynch-Aird 1,*,† and Jim Woodhouse 2,†
1
The Old Forge, Burnt House Lane, Battisford, Suffolk IP14 2ND, UK
2
Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Trumpington St, Cambridge CB2 1PZ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
The authors contributed equally to this work.
Vibration 2018, 1(1), 3-19; https://doi.org/10.3390/vibration1010002
Received: 28 November 2017 / Revised: 18 December 2017 / Accepted: 9 January 2018 / Published: 13 January 2018
The use of a piezoelectric transducer to monitor the tuning of a musical instrument string has been investigated. It has been shown that the transverse resonance frequencies of the string can be identified by electrical measurements on a low-cost actuator/sensor, sufficiently discreetly to be done during a performance. This frequency measurement approach can be used as the basis for a tuning control mechanism to maintain a musical instrument string at the required pitch, without it having to be plucked or played. Such a system would be of direct benefit to harp players in particular, who have no other means to adjust a mistuned string during a performance. Some of the practical issues and implications of adding such a tuning control system to the harp are considered. View Full-Text
Keywords: string; tuning; harp; piezoelectric; resonance string; tuning; harp; piezoelectric; resonance
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Lynch-Aird, N.; Woodhouse, J. Frequency Measurement of Musical Instrument Strings Using Piezoelectric Transducers. Vibration 2018, 1, 3-19.

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