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Science Musical Insights #1 Read More

Science

Mike Sterling Canadian Community News

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Over the past few years, I've been occupied making a new type of musical instrument.

The Bernoulli Involute

One of my tasks is string selection and tuning.  I've learned a lot about how the human ear hears and what makes a good note.

If you use Chrome there is a nice little application you might find interesting. It is a simple oscilloscope Read More   Chrome users can bring it up and allow the application to use the built-in microphone. Chrome will ask for permission. It might run in FireFox too.

You can start talking and singing,  if you want.  You'll see the wave forms and you'll soon be able to form sounds that in a way 'tune' your vocal efforts by not just hearing them, but watching them.

Me Singing Hellllllllllloooooo

The Bernoulli Involute Playing the Note G2

Well, you might think:  "So What?"  How is this useful?  It helps me because I try to select the string type to produce not just the desired pitch, but also the shape of the note.  See below for a note that hits the pitch, but it wavers a bit too much.  I've got the wrong string here.

This is B2.  Note that there is regularity, but also variety.  The note is not as true and as constantly on pitch as G2, but maybe a bit  more interesting.

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If you are with me to here, let's go a bit further.  It is enjoyable to listen to music AND look at the oscilloscope.   I've embedded for you Maria Callus singing 'Casta Diva' from Norma by Bellini in 1958. If you can get the scope to work in Chrome, follow along.  If not, just listen to how she forms these notes on pitch, but varies them to suit her unique style and voice.

 


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Friday, January 08, 2016

 

 

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