PHYS 375 – Project Proposal (Fall 2015)

My proposed project will address musical instrument modeling, namely for the instruments I play, the harpsichord and organ. Computational Physics, by Nicholas J. Giordano and Hisao Nakanishi, addresses the piano, among other instruments, in chapter 11, which will serve as a starting point for modeling other musical instruments that have their own unique physical characteristics. For example, the harpsichord plucks, rather than strikes, its strings, and modeling a more accurate plucking force along with other features of the instrument would form part of the project. Another example is the variety of sounds produced by the pipe organ due to different pipe materials and shapes. I intend to model at least one pipe type (more if the harpsichord part of the project proves too simple). In all cases, I intend to compare the “bridge force spectrum” (basically, the force waves of certain frequencies exert at the boundary) that I calculate to an actual signal from the instrument itself, which I will record and analyze. This will verify, or nullify, the models that I will build.


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