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Article

Mark Lindley

revised by Murray Campbell and Clive Greated

The distance between two pitches. The term ‘harmonic interval’ (as opposed to ‘melodic interval’) indicates that they are thought of as being heard simultaneously. Intervals are traditionally labelled according to the number of steps they embrace in a diatonic scale, counted inclusively: thus from C up to D or down to B is a 2nd, another step up to E or down to A makes a 3rd, etc. These names are applied in non-diatonic contexts so that an interval embracing five degrees of a pentatonic scale is still called an octave (from Lat. octavus: ‘eighth’) and an interval in 12-note music embracing six degrees of the chromatic scale is called a 4th. Qualifying adjectives as shown in ex.1 lend precision to this terminology but the terms ‘major’ and ‘minor’ (or ‘greater’ and ‘lesser’) are also sometimes used to distinguish slightly different forms of semitone, whole tone etc. Some music employs intervals not included in ex.1 because they are not represented faithfully by standard Western notation; 3rds intermediate in size between major and minor, for instance, are characteristic of scales used in some varieties of European folk music, in the art music of several Islamic countries etc.; melodically such an interval is likely to consist of a whole tone plus a step intermediate in size between a whole tone and semitone....

Article

Siv B. Lie and Benjamin Givan

Jazz manouche, also known as ‘Gypsy jazz’, is a musical style based primarily on the 1930s recordings of French jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt (1910–53) with the Quintet of the Hot Club of France. Well-known 21st-century exponents include Biréli Lagrène, Stochelo Rosenberg, Angelo Debarre, Tchavolo Schmitt, and Adrien Moignard. The style characteristically features stringed instruments (primarily the acoustic steel-stringed guitar, violin, and double bass) in ensembles of between three and six musicians. Repertoire largely comprises American and French popular songs dating from the 1920s and 30s, such as ‘All of Me’, and tunes composed by Reinhardt, such as ‘Minor Swing’, ‘Nuages’, and ‘Django’s Tiger’. Performances consist of accompanying guitarists playing a duple-meter percussive chordal stroke called la pompe over a pizzicato walking bass line while soloists take turns improvising virtuosically on the harmonies of a cyclically repeating form, typically 32 bars long (see ex. 1). Improvised melodies often use techniques derived from Reinhardt’s recordings; eighth notes are swung and tempi vary considerably, sometimes exceeding 300 quarter notes per minute. Jazz manouche originated in the late 1960s, when music inspired by Django Reinhardt’s improvisations and repertoire began to be played in some Romani communities (the term ‘jazz manouche’ was never used during Reinhardt’s lifetime and did not gain currency until around the year ...

Article

James F. Bell

revised by Clive Greated

(b Königsberg, Nov 26, 1832; d Paris, Oct 2, 1901). German physicist. Although Helmholtz was his principal professor at the University of Königsberg, Koenig's research was not in acoustics. After receiving the PhD in physics, Koenig apprenticed himself to the Parisian violin maker Vuillaume. Koenig completed his apprenticeship in 1858 and set up shop at the Quai d'Anjou, where he remained for the rest of his life, making tuning-forks of great precision for his tonometer which covered the entire audible range of frequencies. He constructed remarkably precise clock tuning-forks, sirens, ingenious compound sirens, improved Helmholtz resonators and a wide variety of other apparatuses. The quality of his instruments became legendary, and they became the physics tools for university laboratories in Europe and the USA. He was commissioned by the French government to make the apparatus for establishing ‘Diapason normal’, a′ = 435; and he improved Léon Scott's ‘phonautograph’ of ...

Article

(b Turin, Jan 25, 1736; d Paris, April 10, 1813). French mathematician and physicist. He was largely self-trained and was encouraged by Euler and d'Alembert, whose protégé he became. He held positions in Berlin (from 1766) and Paris (from 1787). He is remembered as an acoustician for his work in 1759 on the transverse vibrations of the taut, massless cord loaded by n weights, equally spaced. He is credited with being the first to represent the string in this way and to calculate its normal mode patterns and frequencies, and for having established Euler's solution for the continuous monochord as being the result of taking the limit as n tends to infinity. In fact the discrete model was a very old one, and Lagrange's work on it is a straightforward extension of Euler's; further, as d'Alembert pointed out, Lagrange's passage to the limit is fallacious. In ...

Article

Murray Campbell

(b Mulhouse, ?Aug 26, 1728; d Berlin, Sept 25, 1777). German scientist. From 1748 to 1758 he was tutor to the children of a Swiss noble family; in 1765 he managed to obtain a post at the Akademie der Wissenschaften in Berlin. He was one of those universal scientists characteristic of the 17th and 18th centuries, and was a figure of particular importance in several subjects mainly connected with physics and mathematics. He determined very precisely the frequencies of the first eight overtones of a bar in its clamped-free modes, correcting and extending Euler’s results; the results of Rayleigh and others, a century or more later, were less conclusive. Lambert projected a musical instrument, the ‘musique solitaire’, whereby a person might enjoy music through his teeth without awakening sleepers.

C.J. Scriba: ‘Lambert, Johann Heinrich’, Dictionary of Scientific Biography, ed. C.C. Gillispie (New York, 1970–80) R. Jaquel: Le savant et philosophe mulhousien Jean-Henri Lambert (1728–1777): études critiques et documentaires...

Article

Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht

(b Dresden, June 18, 1909; d Bad Reichenhall, June 13, 1997). German acoustician. After attending the Technische Hochschule in Dresden (1928–9), he studied at the universities of Kiel, Tübingen and Berlin (where he was a pupil of Biehle). His work with M. Grützmacher and Gurlitt during this period stimulated his later research. In 1935 he received a doctorate in physics at the University of Berlin with a dissertation on reed pipes. From 1936 to 1945 he worked first in the State Institute of Physics and Technology in Berlin-Charlottenburg and later was independently employed in the physics department of Tübingen University. In 1952 he began work in the Federal Institute of Physics and Technology in Brunswick, becoming administrative adviser in 1953, chief adviser and head of the acoustics laboratory in 1956, and in 1968 professor and director of the institute. He retired in 1971.

Lottermoser conducted extensive research into the acoustics of instruments, especially the organ and violin, and into the physiology of hearing them. Through his articles on differing architectural styles in churches he contributed to the study and improvement of spatial acoustics....

Article

Murray Campbell and Clive Greated

The subjectively perceived strength of a sound. There is a complex relationship between this psychophysical quantity and objectively measured attributes of the sound wave. The loudness of a sound is most directly related to the intensity, which is the energy transmitted by the sound wave across unit area per second; it is also influenced by the duration and the frequency spectrum of the sound, and by the context in which the sound is heard.

It has often been suggested that subjective loudness is proportional to the logarithm of the sound intensity (an example of the Weber-Fechner psychophysical law, which states that sensation is proportional to the logarithm of stimulus). The intensity level is a logarithmic intensity measure: if the intensity is multiplied by n powers of ten, then the intensity level increases by n bels or 10n decibels (dB). For example, if one sound has twice the intensity of another, the difference in intensity is 3 dB, if the first sound is ten times more intense the difference is 10 dB, and if the first sound is a million times more intense the difference is 60 dB. The reference intensity corresponding to 0 dB is chosen to be one picowatt per square metre, which is below the threshold of audibility for almost all human listeners. The loudness level, whose unit is the phon, also takes account of the fact that the ear’s response varies with frequency; the phon rating of a sound is numerically equal to the intensity level (in dB) of an equally loud sinusoidal tone at the standard frequency of 1000 Hz....

Article

Alex U. Case

A transducer that converts a signal from the electrical domain into the acoustical, transforming a pattern of changing electrical voltages into a similar pattern of changing air pressures.

Whenever electricity flows, it is accompanied by a magnetic field. Play an audio signal through a wire, and a changing magnetic field forms around it, a magnetic analogy for the electrical variations within. Let that wire’s changing magnetism interact with a fixed magnetic field and it will be pushed and pulled back and forth, a mechanical realization of the electrical signal. When that conductor has a flat ribbon shape, it can energize the air directly and is the basis for a ribbon loudspeaker. Make the conductor a coil of wire and attach it to a piston light enough to vibrate quickly, yet rigid enough to move the air around it, and a moving coil loudspeaker is born.

The loudspeaker driver is often enclosed in a box, with the practical benefit of protecting the components and the acoustical effect of influencing its spectral resonance. Multiple loudspeakers, each optimized for performance in a specific frequency range, may be assembled into a single loudspeaker system whose total output is the sum of the behaviors of the individual speakers—woofers for low frequencies, tweeters for high frequencies, and midrange drivers in between. Subwoofers are systems designed specifically for the lowest frequencies. The electronic crossover circuitry spectrally divides the signal among the specific drivers in a multi-way loudspeaker system. Horns may be fitted on a driver for more efficient and more directional sound radiation. Very small loudspeakers placed over the ear or in the ear canal make-up headphones and ear buds. The loudspeaker is an essential element of some of the most important musical instruments in contemporary popular music styles: DJ mixers, synthesizers, and electric guitars. In addition to material science and manufacturing innovations, loudspeaker development relies increasingly on digital signal processing for detailed measurements, high quality filtering, and room correction....

Article

Mel  

Murray Campbell

Article

Dalia Cohen and Ruth Katz

An electronic instrument used in musicological research for the continuous graphic representation of melody or any monophonic vocal expression with a defined pitch. The melograph displays acoustical information in the form of a melogram which generally shows pitch and loudness as functions of time. Although the computer has replaced the melograph, the manner of presenting the musical material remains an essential stage in research and has changed very little even though the information is now obtained directly from a computer. The computer is used primarily for the measurement based on the graphic representation (which without the computer is done manually) and with the final summation; these two stages may be based on melographic or computer representations.

The melograph was created in the 1950s for the analysis of those melodic elements which cannot be expressed exactly in traditional notation, such as intonations based on systems other than those of Western music, microtonal intervals, contours of glissandos, the attack and decay of notes individually and in relation to adjacent notes, vibrato and relationships between the contours of pitch and loudness. Such elements are important mostly in the study of non-Western music, but also in that of certain Western folk musics and in the performance style of Western art melodies, and in nonverbal vocal communication, such as sounds made by infants, the prosodic layer in speech, and animal sounds. Most of these ‘melodic’ elements, even when they play an important role in shaping the musical style, have not been formulated in musical theory; those that have been addressed in theory exhibit a discrepancy between theory and practice....

Article

Murray Campbell

(b Brunswick, March 16, 1933). German acoustician. In 1957 he enrolled in the Technical University of Brunswick as a student of electronics and music, becoming a research scientist in the acoustics laboratory at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in Brunswick in 1958. In 1960 he was awarded the doctorate by the Technical University for a dissertation on the behaviour of organ flue pipes, supervised by Martin Grützmacher. Meyer was appointed head of the acoustics laboratory in 1971, and under his direction the laboratory established an international reputation in musical instrument acoustics, room acoustics and psychoacoustics. At the Musikhochschule in Detmold he became a lecturer (1968) and professor (1980); in 1985 he became head of the audio acoustics department at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in Brunswick, retiring in 1996. A skilled violinist and conductor, his musical background has informed his research on the influence of acoustics on performance. Meyer has carried out definitive studies of the directional properties of instruments and the platform placing of orchestral groups. He has also given numerous public lectures involving acoustical demonstrations by live orchestras. President of the German Acoustical Society between ...

Article

Paul Griffiths, Mark Lindley and Ioannis Zannos

Any musical interval or difference of pitch distinctly smaller than a semitone. Some writers restrict the term to quantities of less than half a semitone; others extend it to refer to all music with intervals markedly different from the (logarithmic) 12th part of the octave and its multiples, including such scales with fewer than 12 pitches as are used, for example, in south-east Asia.

Microtones encountered in music theory include the tiny enharmonic melodic intervals of ancient Greece, the several divisions of the octave into more than 12 parts, and various discrepancies among the intervals of just intonation or between a sharp and its enharmonically paired flat in various forms of mean-tone temperament. The Indian concept of a śruti might also belong in this list (see India, subcontinent of §III 1., (ii), (a)). Intervals incompatible both to the just and to the Pythagorean diatonic scale appear in Arab music theory in the 10th century, in al-Fārābī's definition of the ...

Article

R.W.B. Stephens

revised by James F. Bell and Murray Campbell

( b Strongsville, OH, March 13, 1866; d Cleveland, Feb 22, 1941). American acoustician . He studied at Princeton (DSc 1890) and held appointments there before becoming head of the physics department at the Case School of Applied Science, Cleveland. He was an accomplished flautist, and wrote extensively about the instrument, provided a catalogue of literature on the flute, and gathered an important collection of flutes (now in the Library of Congress, Washington, DC). His most important contribution as an acoustician was the development in 1909 of the ‘phonodeik’, which incorporated a diaphragm of thin glass closing the end of a receiving horn; this allowed him to analyse waveforms of various instruments – by means of a thin wire attached to the centre of the diaphragm, which passed over a spindle pulley, the rotation of the spindle (due to movement of the diaphragm) was recorded by light reflected from a mirror affixed to the spindle. He also carried out experiments on organ pipes and trumpets having walls of different thicknesses, although his conclusions about the desirable qualities for the containing walls of an instrument have been challenged by more recent studies. He became an expert on engineering acoustics and was responsible for the design of many concert halls. His 32-element harmonic synthesizer won him a medal from the Franklin Institute....

Article

David Roberts

A term originating in telecommunications usage describing the superimposition of characteristics of one signal (‘programme’) upon another (‘carrier’); it later entered the terminology of electronic music, where it is frequently used in a broader sense, sometimes as unspecific as ‘a process of change’. Many characteristics of signals may be modulated. In frequency modulation (FM) the frequency of the carrier is made to conform to the wave shape of the programme: for example, if the programme is a sine wave of frequency 6 Hz and low amplitude, the audible result of modulation will resemble the carrier in all respects except that a vibrato (small variation of pitch) will be superimposed upon it. Alterations in the wave form, frequency or amplitude of the programme will produce results more complex and less easily described; in particular, as its frequency enters the audio range (approximately 18Hz–22 kHz), distinct new ‘sideband’ frequencies will be produced. If the ratio between the frequencies if programme and carrier is simple (1:1, 2:1, 3:2 etc.) the sidebands generated will be in harmonic series, and the complex tones produced will resemble the overtone structures of real instruments; this is the fundamental sound-generation technique employed by FM synthesizers. In amplitude modulation (AM) it is the amplitude of the carrier that is made to conform to the wave shape of the programme: here a same sine wave of 6 Hz as programme will have the effect of superimposing a tremolo (small variation of dynamic) upon the carrier. Again, more complex results may be produced by changing the programme....

Article

Murray Campbell and Clive Greated

(Johannes )

(b Schiebroek, Netherlands, July 31, 1932). Dutch physicist and acoustician. At Delft University he obtained a degree in technical physics (1956) and took the PhD (1969). The major part of his professional career has been spent at TNO (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research). He is an accomplished jazz clarinettist. His most important contribution has been to the fundamental acoustics of woodwind instruments. In aiming to find more rational design procedures, he has made a comprehensive theoretical analysis of the resonance of tubes, incorporating the effects of side holes, bends, mouthpieces and reeds. This allows detailed calculations to be made of the hole positions in a woodwind instrument and predictions to be made about aspects of tuning and tone quality. His findings are presented in Acoustical Aspects of Woodwind Instruments, which has become a standard text for designers of woodwind instruments.

‘New Key Mechanism for Clarinet’, ...

Article

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Article

James F. Bell

revised by Murray Campbell

(b Erlangen, March 16, 1789; d Munich, July 6, 1854). German scientist. He studied mathematics at the University of Erlangen, taking a degree in 1811. He spent the rest of his life in a series of undistinguished posts, teaching mathematics and later physics at a relatively elementary level, apart from a period (1833–49) as professor of physics and rector of the Polytechnic Institute at Nuremberg. Among his writings is the paper of 1827 which contained the famous Ohm’s Law of Electricity, which however was little recognized at the time. His contribution to music is contained in two papers (published in Annalen der Physik uns Chemie, 1843 and 1844) in which he presented what became known as Ohm’s Law of Acoustics: he suggested that musical sounds depended not on phase but on the distribution of energies among the harmonics. His research stimulated Helmholtz’s important experiments in the 1850s and 1860s, and dominated the conception of the subject for a century. Ohm’s place in musical acoustics, although less publicized, is as secure as his place in electromagnetic theory....

Article

Laurence Libin

Pure-tuned harmonium developed by the German physicist and music theorist Arthur Joachim von Oettingen (b Dorpat, Livonia, 28 March 1836; d Bensheim, Germany, 5 Sept 1920) and built by Schiedmayer in Stuttgart. An example from 1914 is in the Musikinstrumenten Museum, Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung, Berlin. Designed to sound pure 3rds, 4ths, and 5ths, it is based on an octave division into 53 (in some versions, 72) tones and has a complex multilayered but symmetrical keyboard similar to that of Bosanquet’s enharmonic harmonium. Oettingen studied astronomy and physics at the University of Dorpat and continued his education in Paris and Berlin. He was appointed a professor in Dorpat in 1863 and moved in 1893 to Leipzig, where he worked until 1919. He advocated the theory of ‘harmonic dualism’, later elaborated by Hugo Riemann, and introduced the interval measurement called the ‘millioctave’, based on division of the octave into 1000 tones. See ...

Article

Murray Campbell

Article

Partial  

Murray Campbell

One of the component vibrations at a particular frequency in a complex mixture. It need not be harmonic. The fundamental and all overtones may be described as partials; in this case, the fundamental is the first partial, the first overtone the second partial, and so on. See also Sound, §5 .