Special Issue "Musical Instruments: Acoustics and Vibration"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Acoustics and Vibrations".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2019).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Lamberto Tronchin
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Architecture, University of Bologna, 40126 Bologna, Italy
Interests: acoustics; room Acoustics; musical acoustics; emulation of nonlinear acoustic systems; 3D auralisation; multiple arrays in 3D acoustic measurements; noise barriers
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The sound and vibration of musical instruments has gathered great attention among scientists, musicians, and artists since the early knowledge of physics, dating back 2500 years. Several important international institutions and museums are collecting musical instruments and studying their history and origins. However, only a small part of the research deals with the physical characteristics of musical instruments, and an even smaller part deals with the sound emitted from them. This Special Issue intends to give an opportunity to collect several studies about the acoustics and vibration of musical instruments, both considering classical and ethnic MIs, ranging from measurements to emulations, including physical modelling and virtual musical instruments. This SI is intended for scientists, researchers, and curators that intend to propose a high level of unpublished research, both with theoretical and experimental approaches.

Dr. Lamberto Tronchin
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • musical instruments
  • modal analysis
  • mobility and admittance
  • sound radiation
  • physical modelling

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Special Issue on Musical Instruments: Acoustics and Vibration
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3294; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093294 - 09 May 2020
Viewed by 619
Abstract
The sound characteristics of musical instruments have been constantly growing in importance [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musical Instruments: Acoustics and Vibration)

Research

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Article
Dynamic Range Compression and the Semantic Descriptor Aggressive
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(7), 2350; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10072350 - 30 Mar 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 865
Abstract
In popular music productions, the lead vocal is often the main focus of the mix and engineers will work to impart creative colouration onto this source. This paper conducts listening experiments to test if there is a correlation between perceived distortion and the [...] Read more.
In popular music productions, the lead vocal is often the main focus of the mix and engineers will work to impart creative colouration onto this source. This paper conducts listening experiments to test if there is a correlation between perceived distortion and the descriptor “aggressive”, which is often used to describe the sonic signature of Universal Audio 1176, a much-used dynamic range compressor in professional music production. The results from this study show compression settings that impart audible distortion are perceived as aggressive by the listener, and there is a strong correlation between the subjective listener scores for distorted and aggressive. Additionally, it was shown there is a strong correlation between compression settings rated with high aggressive scores and the audio feature roughness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musical Instruments: Acoustics and Vibration)
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Article
Microphone and Loudspeaker Array Signal Processing Steps towards a “Radiation Keyboard” for Authentic Samplers
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(7), 2333; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10072333 - 29 Mar 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 833
Abstract
To date electric pianos and samplers tend to concentrate on authenticity in terms of temporal and spectral aspects of sound. However, they barely recreate the original sound radiation characteristics, which contribute to the perception of width and depth, vividness and voice separation, especially [...] Read more.
To date electric pianos and samplers tend to concentrate on authenticity in terms of temporal and spectral aspects of sound. However, they barely recreate the original sound radiation characteristics, which contribute to the perception of width and depth, vividness and voice separation, especially for instrumentalists, who are located near the instrument. To achieve this, a number of sound field measurement and synthesis techniques need to be applied and adequately combined. In this paper we present the theoretic foundation to combine so far isolated and fragmented sound field analysis and synthesis methods to realize a radiation keyboard, an electric harpsichord that approximates the sound of a real harpsichord precisely in time, frequency, and space domain. Potential applications for such a radiation keyboard are conservation of historic musical instruments, music performance, and psychoacoustic measurements for instrument and synthesizer building and for studies of music perception, cognition, and embodiment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musical Instruments: Acoustics and Vibration)
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Article
Analysis and Modeling of Timbre Perception Features in Musical Sounds
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(3), 789; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10030789 - 22 Jan 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1101
Abstract
A novel technique is proposed for the analysis and modeling of timbre perception features, including a new terminology system for evaluating timbre in musical instruments. This database consists of 16 expert and novice evaluation terms, including five pairs with opposite polarity. In addition, [...] Read more.
A novel technique is proposed for the analysis and modeling of timbre perception features, including a new terminology system for evaluating timbre in musical instruments. This database consists of 16 expert and novice evaluation terms, including five pairs with opposite polarity. In addition, a material library containing 72 samples (including 37 Chinese orchestral instruments, 11 Chinese minority instruments, and 24 Western orchestral instruments) and a 54-sample objective acoustic parameter set were developed as part of the study. The method of successive categories was applied to each term for subjective assessment. A mathematical model of timbre perception features (i.e., bright or dark, raspy or mellow, sharp or vigorous, coarse or pure, and hoarse or consonant) was then developed for the first time using linear regression, support vector regression, a neural network, and random forest algorithms. Experimental results showed the proposed model accurately predicted these attributes. Finally, an improved technique for 3D timbre space construction is proposed. Auditory perception attributes for this 3D timbre space were determined by analyzing the correlation between each spatial dimension and the 16 timbre evaluation terms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musical Instruments: Acoustics and Vibration)
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Article
The Carabattola—Vibroacoustical Analysis and Intensity of Acoustic Radiation (IAR)
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(2), 641; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10020641 - 16 Jan 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 676
Abstract
Among the studies of musical instruments, one important, sometime underestimated discipline, is represented by ethnomusicology. The acoustic analyses on ethnic musical instruments (M.I.) are much more infrequent if compared to those on classical M.I. This article deals with the vibro-acoustic analysis on one [...] Read more.
Among the studies of musical instruments, one important, sometime underestimated discipline, is represented by ethnomusicology. The acoustic analyses on ethnic musical instruments (M.I.) are much more infrequent if compared to those on classical M.I. This article deals with the vibro-acoustic analysis on one of the most unknown ethnic, Italian M.I., i.e., the carabattola (also called battola), which used to be played in Italy until the late 1960s during the Holy Thursday before Easter. The study includes modal analysis and Intensity of Acoustic Radiation measured on an original carabattola, which was played in the Romagna area until the early twentieth century. After a brief overview about the theory of acoustic and vibrational analysis on musical instruments, the Intensity of acoustic radiation and its correlation with modal analysis are recalled, based on previous studies. In the experimental part of the article, the measurements conducted on the carabattola are described. Afterwards, the results obtained both from modal analysis and IAR measurements are analyzed and compared with other measurements previously conducted on musical (particularly percussion) instruments and commented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musical Instruments: Acoustics and Vibration)
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Article
Sound Characterization through Intensity of Acoustic Radiation Measurement: A Study of Persian Musical Instruments
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(2), 633; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10020633 - 16 Jan 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 828
Abstract
The physics of musical instruments often uses modal analysis as one of the most important methods for describing the behavior of sound chests and their acoustic radiation. However, some studies conducted in Europe (Wogram), Japan (Suzuki) and the United States (Giordano) underlined a [...] Read more.
The physics of musical instruments often uses modal analysis as one of the most important methods for describing the behavior of sound chests and their acoustic radiation. However, some studies conducted in Europe (Wogram), Japan (Suzuki) and the United States (Giordano) underlined a very weak correlation between sound radiation and modal analysis. This mismatch required further research. The acoustic parameter intensity of acoustic radiation (IAR) is highly related to the mechanical vibration of the sound source. IAR was able to quantify the sound efficiency of musical instruments, and to relate sound radiation with modal analysis. This paper investigates IAR measured on three Persian stringed musical Instruments, namely the thar, si-thar and santoor. The analysis contributes to the knowledge of stringed musical instruments and sound propagation, since IAR is capable of linking the mechanical vibrations of soundboards with the sound generation of the musical instruments. The IAR results coming from the modal analysis carried out during the study of the instruments are reported herein. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musical Instruments: Acoustics and Vibration)
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Article
A Study of the Dynamic Response of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Epoxy (CFRE) Prepregs for Musical Instrument Manufacturing
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(21), 4615; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9214615 - 30 Oct 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1680
Abstract
Composite materials are presented in a wide variety of industrial sectors as an alternative to traditionally used materials. In recent years, a new sector has increasingly used these kinds of materials: the manufacture of musical instruments. Resonances of different elements that make up [...] Read more.
Composite materials are presented in a wide variety of industrial sectors as an alternative to traditionally used materials. In recent years, a new sector has increasingly used these kinds of materials: the manufacture of musical instruments. Resonances of different elements that make up the geometries of musical instruments are commonly used with the aim of enhancing aspects of the timbre. These are sensitive to the mechanical characteristics of the material, so it is important to guarantee the properties of the composite. To do this, it is not uncommon to use pre-impregnated fibers (prepregs) which allow fine control of final volumetric fractions of the composite. Autoclaving is a high-quality process used to guarantee the desired mechanical properties in a composite, reducing porosity and avoiding delamination, but significantly raising production costs. On the contrary, manufacture without autoclaving increases competitiveness by eliminating the costs associated with autoclave production. In this paper, differences in dynamic behavior are evaluated under free conditions of different Carbon Fiber Reinforced Epoxy (CFRE) prepreg boards, processed by autoclave and out-of-autoclave. The results of the complex module are presented according to the frequency, quantifying the variations in the vibratory behavior of the material due to the change of processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musical Instruments: Acoustics and Vibration)
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Article
Design and Application of the BiVib Audio-Tactile Piano Sample Library
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(5), 914; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9050914 - 04 Mar 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1240
Abstract
A library of piano samples composed of binaural recordings and keyboard vibrations has been built, with the aim of sharing accurate data that in recent years have successfully advanced the knowledge on several aspects about the musical keyboard and its multimodal feedback to [...] Read more.
A library of piano samples composed of binaural recordings and keyboard vibrations has been built, with the aim of sharing accurate data that in recent years have successfully advanced the knowledge on several aspects about the musical keyboard and its multimodal feedback to the performer. All samples were recorded using calibrated measurement equipment on two Yamaha Disklavier pianos, one grand and one upright model. This paper documents the sample acquisition procedure, with related calibration data. Then, for sound and vibration analysis, it is shown how physical quantities such as sound intensity and vibration acceleration can be inferred from the recorded samples. Finally, the paper describes how the samples can be used to correctly reproduce binaural sound and keyboard vibrations. The library has potential to support experimental research about the psycho-physical, cognitive and experiential effects caused by the keyboard’s multimodal feedback in musicians and other users, or, outside the laboratory, to enable an immersive personal piano performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musical Instruments: Acoustics and Vibration)
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Review

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Review
The Neanderthal Musical Instrument from Divje Babe I Cave (Slovenia): A Critical Review of the Discussion
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 1226; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10041226 - 12 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1734
Abstract
The paper is a critical review of different evidence for the interpretation of an extremely important archaeological find, which is marked by some doubt. The unique find, a multiple perforated cave bear femur diaphysis, from the Divje babe I cave (Slovenia), divided the [...] Read more.
The paper is a critical review of different evidence for the interpretation of an extremely important archaeological find, which is marked by some doubt. The unique find, a multiple perforated cave bear femur diaphysis, from the Divje babe I cave (Slovenia), divided the opinions of experts, between those who advocate the explanation that the find is a musical instrument made by a Neanderthal, and those who deny it. Ever since the discovery, a debate has been running on the basis of this division, which could only be closed by similar new finds with comparable context, and defined relative and absolute chronology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Musical Instruments: Acoustics and Vibration)
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