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(a) Philip the Good (reigned 1419–67) welcomed to Dijon, accompanied by S-shaped and straight trumpets: miniature from the MS of Saint-Esprit, f.18r (Musée du Centre Hospitalier Régional, Dijon); (b) straight and looped trumpets (with two shawms) in a riding party: detail of ‘May’, miniature by the Limbourg brothers from the ‘Très Riches Heures’, c1411/13–16 (F-CH 65, f.5v)...

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(a) Reflections from a parabola; (b) reflections from a convex surface; (c) reflections from a plane surface (after Parkin and Humphreys, 1958)

Faber & Faber Ltd, London: after P.H. Parkin and H.R. Humphreys, Acoustics, Noise and Buildings (3/1969)

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(a) Renaissance harp with brays, and lute: engraving by Israhel van Meckenem (ii), second half of the 15th century; (b) Renaissance harp with brays, German, maker unknown, 16th century (Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg)

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(a) Response curve showing the distribution and intensity of sounds produced by a violin when the force exerted on the bridge is simulated electronically; (b) loudness curve obtained on the same violin by bowing each semitone as loudly as possible

After C M. Hutchins

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(a) Schematic representation of four different pure vibrations as they would appear on an oscilloscope; (b) the same vibrations as they would be registered by a melograph

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(a) Scottish Highland bagpipe, with blowpipe, chanter and three drones; (b) Scottish Lowland bagpipe, with bellows and three drones; (c) early Irish union pipe, with bellows, plain chanter, three drones and a tenor regulator with four keys (all Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford); (d) early Northumbrian small-pipe, with bellows, plain chanter and three drones, c1770 (National Bagpipe Museum, Newcastle upon Tyne)...

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(a) Section through a Helmholtz resonator; (b) axonometric section through a Helmholtz resonator panel; (c) axonometric section through a strip panel resonator

After R. Lewcock

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(a) single reed of a clarinet; (b) clarinet mouthpiece with reed in position

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(a) Single-row stone panpipes, 1300–1500 CE; (b) musicians with transverse flutes and drum: carved pottery lid, Chimú period, 1200–1400 CE

from Marti, Pre-Columbian Music. 2nd edition Mexico 1978: Ediciones Euroamericanas

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(a) Six-string violone by Gio(vanni) Paolo Maggini, Brescia, early 17th century (Horniman Museum, London); (b) viol-shaped violone by Ventura Linarol, Padua, 1585 (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna)

Horniman Museum, London

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(a) The fasıl of the later 17th century. (b) The fasıl of the later 18th century

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(a) Three successive views of a travelling wave on a stretched string, (b) three successive views of a standing wave on a stretched string

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(a) Two waves ‘in phase’, adding to each other; (b) two waves ‘out of phase’, neutralizing each other so that no sound is heard

Charles Taylor

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(a) Undesirable foci from an orchestra created by a concave reflector behind the platform; (b) undesirable focus created on a balcony by a concave ceiling; (c) undesirable focus created in a seating plan by a concave rear wall

After R. Lewcock

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(a) Waveform of sound signal arriving at transmitter; (b) waveform of current in aerial (for the sake of clarity the spacing between cycles has been exaggerated)

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(a) Waveform produced by a treble recorder sounding c′′ (523 Hz) played rather loudly; (b) the same note bowed on a violin; (c) the same note on a clarinet; (d) waveform made by mixing a group of high-pitched tones, none below about 2000 Hz, producing an apparent c′′ in the ear as a ‘residue’ effect...

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(a) Waves alternately in and out of phase, giving rise to the ‘beat’ phenomenon; (b) waveform of two notes exactly an octave apart, giving a smooth and steady impression; (c) waveforms of notes not quite an octave apart, ‘changing step’; in each case the lowest graph is the sum of the other two...

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(a) Xylophone and (b) gourd-resonated lamellophone of the Cokwe people, Katanga region; (c) slit-drum (left), two drums with nailed heads, and basket rattles (right), Yaka people, Kwango region

Photo: Declerck, J., © Africa-Museum

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(a) Zampogna with blowpipe, two chanters and two drones, Italian (Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford); (b) zampogna player: detail from ‘The Shepherds’, fresco from the cycle ‘Life and Glory of the Virgin’ by Ludovico Seitz, 1892–1902 (Cappella Tedesca, S Casa, Loreto

Mansell / Time Pix / Katz

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(a)–(c) Calculated curves for pure tones of the 2nd, 4th and 5th harmonics of the same fundamental; (d) sum of the three

After C. Taylor, "The Physics of Musical Sounds", 1965