(b La Flèche, March 24, 1653; d Paris, July 9, 1716). French acoustician. In 1670 he went to Paris, where he attended the lectures of the Cartesian physicist Rohault; his works do not display the knowledge of advanced mathematics that characterizes the scientific progress of the age of Newton, although he held a chair of mathematics for a decade. He was elected to membership of the Académie des Sciences (1696), which left him free to develop his interest in acoustics. He thoroughly mastered the idea of frequency and was the first to interpret beats correctly. He also introduced the terms ‘acoustique’ (acoustics), ‘son harmonique’ (harmonic sound) and ‘noeud’ (node). His papers, though not so original as he may have thought them, were fairly clear and descriptive; they were very widely read, and certainly they had great effect upon the centrally important work of Daniel Bernoulli a quarter of a century later. He suffered from a speech defect and is said to have had no ear for music. His works include ...
revised by Murray Campbell
(b 1892; d 1979). American engineer and acoustician. He had a distinguished professional career as an electrical engineer, specializing in research into radio wave transmission. In 1957 he retired from the directorship of radio research at Bell Telephone Laboratories. An enthusiastic amateur cellist, Schelleng undertook a programme of research into the acoustics of the violin family in his retirement. The combination of his musical experience and his background in electrical engineering resulted in a novel and extremely fruitful approach to the study of bowed string instruments, in which he drew an analogy between the exchange of vibrational energy between the string and the body of the instrument and the flow of electrical current round a circuit. His seminal paper, ‘The Violin as a Circuit’ (1963), provided the first realistic picture of how the violin functions as a whole, and became the foundation for most subsequent work in this area. Schelling was a pivotal figure in the group of researchers in violin acoustics which adopted the whimsical name Catgut Acoustical Society at his suggestion. He worked closely with Carleen Hutchins on the development of the Violin Octet, a set of new instruments based on the application of scaling theory to the violin. He was elected a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in ...
(b Hull, August 14, 1922; d March 7, 2002). English physicist, writer and lecturer on the physics of music. He studied physics at Queen Mary College, London (BSc 1942), and at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (PhD 1951, DSc 1959), where he was a lecturer then a reader in physics (1948–85). As professor and head of department of physics at University College, Cardiff (1965–83), he established the first electronic music studio in a British university (1970); he was visiting professor of experimental physics at the Royal Institution of Great Britain (1976–88), and became emeritus professor of physics at the University of Wales in 1983. He was elected an honorary fellow of the Institute of Acoustics (1985).
Though his major research activity was in the study of X-ray and optical diffraction, the important musical acoustics research group which he founded at Cardiff carried out pioneering holographic studies of the vibrational modes of stringed instrument bodies. In ...
(b Würzburg, Aug 11, 1888; d Düsseldorf, Dec 20, 1956). German engineer and acoustician . He studied electrical engineering (1906–8) and law (1908–11), and received the doctorate from Karlsruhe (1921) before working in the radio industry. In 1930 he was appointed lecturer and in 1935 professor of musical acoustics at the Berlin Musikhochschule. His experiments in electronic music resulted in several instruments, including an amplified harpsichord (1936, in collaboration with Hanns Neupert), electronic bells and, most importantly, the Trautonium, developed in 1930 and used by, among others, Hindemith, Höffer, Genzmer and Julius Weismann, all of whom wrote concertos for it, Egk and Strauss. In the late 1940s Trautwein worked in Paris in aviation research; he then set up a school of composition in Düsseldorf which in 1950 became part of the Robert Schumann Conservatory. He published a trautonium method (Trautoniumschule, 1936...