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Article

Philip Bate

In the terminology of organ building, a flue pipe in which the end remote from the mouth is closed by a movable stopper or airtight cap. This provides a means of tuning.

In general, a stopped pipe is any tube that communicates freely with the ambient air at one end and is completely closed at the other. The Air column in such a tube will vibrate with an antinode at the open end and a node at the closure. The fundamental is approximately an octave lower than that given by a pipe of equal dimensions open at both ends, and its wavelength is four times that of the tube itself. The harmonic series of a stopped pipe lacks the even-numbered partials; Overblowing begins a 12th above the fundamental. Because it shows this characteristic the clarinet is sometimes loosely termed a stopped pipe. Among folk instruments the stopped pipe is represented by many end-blown flutes of varying degrees of sophistication....

Article

Murray Campbell

(Alfred )

(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 ...

Article

Murray Campbell

(Lat.: tonus)

A term describing the tonal quality of a sound; a clarinet and an oboe sounding the same note at the same loudness are said to produce different timbres. Timbre is a more complex attribute than pitch or loudness, which can each be represented by a one-dimensional scale (high–low for pitch, loud–soft for loudness); the perception of timbre is a synthesis of several factors, and in computer-generated music considerable effort has been devoted to the creation and exploration of multi-dimensional timbral spaces. The frequency spectrum of a sound, and in particular the ways in which different partials grow in amplitude during the starting transient, are of great importance in determining the timbre. ...

Article

William Drabkin

Article

William Drabkin

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Article

Murray Campbell and Clive Greated

Any part of the signal associated with a vibration or sound wave in which a significant feature of the signal is changing with time. It is impossible to make an acoustical system such as a stretched string or an air column start vibrating instantaneously with a steady amplitude; after the initial excitation is applied, the resonant modes of the system gain energy at a rate which depends on the properties of the resonances and also on the nature of the attack. The part of the signal corresponding to this initial development of the vibration is known as the starting, onset or attack transient; in a sustained note it is followed by the steady-state portion of the signal. After the input of energy ceases, the mode amplitudes fall to zero during the decay transient. The starting transient is often the most recognizable feature of a particular instrument's sound. The illustration shows a set of frequency spectra measured during the starting transient of a treble recorder playing the note ...

Article

Clive Greated

(Adolf )

(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...

Article

Tom Cleveland

(b Normal, IL, Jan 31, 1909; d Los Angeles, Jan 10, 1971). American singer and voice science researcher. He studied English at Taylor University, Upland, IN (AB 1930) and music at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL (BM 1941) and at the American Conservatory, Chicago (MM 1943). After teaching at the Chicago Evangelistic Institute, DePaul University and the American Conservatory, he became a member of the faculty of music at the University of Southern California (1946), chairing its voice department (1950–71). Among the associations to which he belonged are the National Association of Teachers of Singing, which he served in several capacities, including national president. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Pepperdine University College, Malibu, CA in recognition of his outstanding contributions to singing and the science of singing (1970).

As a singer, Vennard was active in opera, oratorio and solo song; as a teacher of singing, his students, among them Marilyn Horne, achieved worldwide success. His renowned text, ...

Article

Richard Orton

revised by Hugh Davies

(Fr. commande par tension; Ger. Spannungssteuerung; It. controllo di tensione)

In electronic music, a means by which the functions of certain electronic devices may be controlled by the application of external voltages. A change in the voltage applied results in a proportional change in the behaviour of the signal-producing or processing device that is being controlled. Theoretically any function of such a device that can be controlled manually (for instance, by turning a knob) can be made to respond to applied voltages. In practice the most usual applications are to be found in the voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) and the voltage-controlled amplifier (VCA), in which respectively frequency and amplitude may be controlled by an external voltage. The range of voltages used in musical applications of voltage control is normally quite small: in the case of the voltage-controlled oscillator it is typical to find a ratio of one volt per octave. The lack of a global standard for voltage ratios, however, meant that it was often impossible to create such links between devices produced by different manufacturers....

Article

Murray Campbell and Clive Greated

A pattern of vibration spatially distributed through a medium. An example of a medium of great importance in musical instruments is the stretched string. Three types of wave can exist in a string: a transverse wave, in which the particles of the string vibrate in a direction perpendicular to the string axis, a longitudinal wave, in which the string particles vibrate along the string axis, and a torsional wave, in which the string particles rotate about the string axis. All three types of wave can be generated by bowing a string, although the transverse waves normally dominate the acoustic behaviour of a bowed string. Transverse and torsional waves cannot be supported by a gaseous medium, so that only longitudinal waves are present in the air column of a wind instrument.

In a travelling wave the vibration pattern travels through the medium with a characteristic speed (the wave velocity); fig.1a shows three successive views of a transverse wave travelling from left to right on a string. When a travelling wave is reflected back on itself, a standing wave is set up; fig.1...

Article

Clive Greated

Article

Wolf  

Guy Oldham and Mark Lindley

The name given to two undesirable and unpleasant sound effects which may occur in musical performance, one having to do with temperament and tuning, the other with a structural peculiarity in an instrument that sometimes gives rise to intonation difficulties.

On keyboard instruments with tuning systems that do not provide a note intended for use as A♭, playing G♯ instead, with E♭ in the same chord, produces an unpleasant effect, supposed to resemble the howling of a wolf. In Pythagorean intonation the wolf 5th is smaller than pure by 23½ cents, a quantity known as the Pythagorean comma. But the wolf 5th in any regular mean-tone temperament (where the ‘good’ 5ths are tempered two or three times as much as in equal temperament) is considerably larger than pure (see Mean-tone). The tuner who follows a scheme containing a wolf 5th might choose some other location for it than G♯–E♭. C♯–A♭ was occasionally used in the 15th century and D♯–B♭ in the 17th for mean-tone temperament; B–F♯ was favoured, or rather disfavoured, by many 15th-century practitioners of ...