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Open AccessArticle

Frequency Measurement of Musical Instrument Strings Using Piezoelectric Transducers

by Nicolas Lynch-Aird 1,*,† and Jim Woodhouse 2,†
The Old Forge, Burnt House Lane, Battisford, Suffolk IP14 2ND, UK
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;
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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