ACOUSTICS
FOR

MUSICIANS
BY

PERCY

C.

BUCK,

M.A., D.Mus. OXON.
HARROW SCHOOL

PROFESSOR OF MUSIC IN "SHE UNIVERSITY OF DUBLIN

AND DIRECTOR OF MUSIC

IN

OXFORD AT THE CLARENDON PRESS
1918

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO FACULTY OF MUSIC LIBRARY OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS EDINBURGH LONDON TORONTO MELBOURNE GLASGOW CAPE TOWN NEW YORK BOMBAY HUMPHREY MILFORD PUBLISHER TO THE UNIVERSITY PUIITTED IK ENGLAND .

both in teaching and examining. The fact . them will to continue doing so. the jargon. And to support of this it will advance two conclusions dozen which I would be easy to give a am driven by the answers to questions set in examination-papers. of Acoustics at They basis in acquire . has convinced me that very The few students ever succeed principles in grasping the underlying all. force is time wasted. Firstly. and store their minds with text-book facts but they seldom grip the theory of sound contention I scientific on which the is built. if And I suppose every one it is agree that. (I it is obvious that the majority of students am speaking always of music-students) believe that A 2 . best to study intelligently. experience of a good many years. it a subject must be studied. by asking questions on the subject.PREFACE IT is held by a good many people and I am not concerned to contradict them that the time spent by music-students in acquiring a knowledge of Acoustics however remains that many students do so spend some of their time and musical examinations.

. I have ' never yet been convinced by an answer to any question on equal temperament that the candidate really under- stood the bearing on the question of the twelfth root of two. each fundamental mathe- matical idea at the point where the understanding of it becomes vital . ground. The truth is. Secondly. find the rest of X. XVI. in is not to So have tried this book explain. in my . depends entirely on the grasp of a few elementary mathematical conceptions find. that the understanding of the principles of Acoustics. and no book on the subject. representation of something which occurs in the air and the true meaning of the essential word 'associated has never dawned on them. of course. in separate chapters. and XVII should the book easy reading .4 PREFACE so familiar to any one are wave-curves who has ever opened a book on Sound the actual pictorial . XIII. as distinct from the cramming of a number of facts. Any student who can understand Chapters III. and I have done my utmost to put such explanations into language which can be com- prehended by any one whose knowledge of ordinary arithmetic goes as far as vulgar fractions. but those to whom the above chapters are incomprehensible can never hope. XV. however I elementary. so far as I can recognizes the fact that to the ordinary music- student familiar mathematics. VI.

Mr. H.PREFACE belief. December. 1917. have to thank Miss Townsend Warner. D. J. to 5 understand the drift of the subject or the principles I on which its laws are founded. R. and giving other help and advice. Calvert. and Mr. P. W. HARROW-ON-THE-HlLL. Nagel for their kindness in reading manuscript and proofs. . B. C.

I .

137 . .. . . ON THE NATURE OF MOTION XVI. . .. III. CONSONANCE. TONE X. .21 13 PART III.. . PRODUCTION . .. THE PRODUCTION OF SOUND .91 107 PART VI. .122 131 ..61 55 65 76 XII. . ON THE ASSOCIATED WAVE XVIII.. THE MEASUREMENT OF PITCH . ON CURVES OF POSITION XVII. PROGRESSIONS . . . VII. V..86 . EQUAL AND MEAN-TONE TEMPERAMENT . II... . II..141 . DISSONANCE.39 VARIATION 48 IV. V. .. . .. . . . TRANSMISSION ..148 151 INDEX . -113 . XV. . AXIOMS AND DEFINITIONS . . ON MATHEMATICAL PARTIAL TONES XL .. 30 34 PART VI. AND BEATS XXI. . XIV.. TEMPERAMENT OF ON THE TWELFTH ROOT Two . VIII. PITCH ON PENDULUM-MOTION ABSOLUTE PITCH . COMBINATION TONES XIX.. INTENSITY 45 ON MATHEMATICAL INTENSITY . TIMBRE PART XIII.CONTENTS PACK PRELIlVflNARY CHAPTER 9 I. TYPES OF MUSICAL QUALITY ... PHASE AND INTERFERENCE XX. . RESONANCE PART IX. .. . PART CHAPTER I.. THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE HUMAN EAR ..26 IV.

.

an men. however. Fortunately. another an expert cult than let us say. both illogical and unwise is in a trunk. To whatever special line we may be driven . must embrace a great number of subjects each of which is in itself merely a subsidiary and component part of a wide and comprehensive whole.PRELIMINARY CHAPTER WHEN all a man sets out to study the Art of Music he is is. alone and by is a complete branch of the art and a fit field for the confined study of the specialist. ' . But such a custom itself. dealing with a homogeneous and isolated subject but before long he will be forced to realize that his study. We accidental gathering of four can imagine. each of them eminent in the musical world. It is easy and usual to speak of these subjects as if each one were. is directly fostered by our habit of concentrating exclusively on one section of the art. which is such a drag on the wheel of artistic progress in this country. the third has an unrivalled knowledge of the school of Palestrina. a virtuoso on the violoncello. It is difficult to suggest a trunk on which to graft these four branches. and there illogical because branches imply music no central backbone from which : the various subjects radiate. whilst the fourth is in the front rank as a Wagnerian conductor. yet each skilled in such diverse directions that real conversation between them on music would be more diffi- on almost any other subject. in probability. since music is itself but the sum of them and unwise because the lack of musicianship'. One. a considerable number of musicians realize the folly and danger of confining the attention within too small limits. for instance. under the impression that he . is voice-trainer. if it is to be in any sense far-reaching.

producing the sensation of sound there follows the perception of its listen to : When we nature.io PRELIMINARY CHAPTER natural gifts or our daily bread. The whole question of the action of the stimulus is a matter for purely acoustical investigation . . Since. followed at once (unless it was a knock-out blow) by the perception of the nature and cause of the sensation. which are called concepts. and we pass into the realms of discrimination. When a man receives a blow the occurrence may be might points of view. memory. such musicians have in most cases not thought out for themselves the relation one aspect of music and the whole art. Something acts as a stimulus to our auditory nerve. on the presented. ask a lawyer for a legal opinion on the assault. a point is soon reached which our great need is study off that line if we are to And so it fertilize our minds by enlarging our outlook. or C sharp and the mind is immediately provided with material for concepts. are attracted to the study of Acoustics the Science of Sound. and so forth. he will tell us that the blow itself was a stimulus. facts music exactly the same process occurs. happens that some musicians. a boxingexpert for a technical description of the hit. to ourselves that it is a clarinet. the succeeding paragraphs will attempt an explanation of that relationship. however. while incidentally unfolding the plan and order between this of arrangement of the subject which has been adopted in this book. and we say . If we look for the application of Acoustics to the above analysis we can see at once where it is involved. a moralist for a homily on self-control. association. a doctor for described from any one of many We an appreciation of the damage. But if we ask a psychologist for a detailed description of the incident as it strikes him qua psychologist. that the recipient then experienced an immediate sensation. or a barrel- organ. and followed later by workings of the mind. looking round for subjects of by our at secondary interest.

the ex- plosion (2) The conveyance of those vibrations through the air to . which bring the realization of disablement. cause of the vibrations i. the subsequent effects. as a stimulus producing sensation (4) . and his grasp of the would be summed up in the words IVe been hit Similarly his companion's comment on the incident. the actual cause of the sensation may be many miles it is quite easy to eliminate this difference by a case where two comrades stand together and one imagining of them is hit by a bullet. not. involving a study of of the mechanisms and explosives . and hospital. There is (i) the producing-cause (the rifle). situation interest of the wounded man would ' embrace any such analysis.e. the other merely hearing the report In the case of the man who is hit we can analyse rifle. as it affects the question ' ment I heard the shot falls '. bandages. n partly acoustical and partly physiological the questions of perception and concepts are entirely outside Acoustics except in so far as the previous work of the is sense-organ has presented us with sensations dissected and ready for the formation of conclusions. the auditory nerve of the recipient . of sound. the suggestion of self-preservation. (2) the conveyance of the bullet from the rifle . of The immediate course. would be the simple stateBut the acoustical analysis of his : experience (1) into four precisely parallel divisions The producing . In one important respect the action of the stimulus in the case of Sound differs the above example. produced by direct impact But whereas in the case of Sound away.PRELIMINARY CHAPTER the question of sensation . and the vision of stretchers. tion is from the blow given and received in For in the case of the blow the sensa. involving a study of the trajectory of projectiles (3) the impact of the bullet. to the victim. as far '. the whole incident in certain water-tight compartments.

12

PRELIMINARY CHAPTER
(3)

The impact of
;

the vibrations, producing the sensation

of sound
(4)

The

subsequent

effects,

which enable the

listener

to

deduce the nature of the weapon, the range and direction of fire, and any other facts which an expert may be able to
determine from the characteristics of the sound heard.

Conforming

to the above analysis, this

book

deals

first

of

all with the production of Sound, and then proceeds to inquire into its three characteristics of Pitch, Intensity, and Quality.
It

artificial

then deals with the question of Temperament, which adaptation of natural laws to practical use.
is

is

the

The

process of Transmission
left to this later stage,

since

then discussed, being purposely it is the part of Acoustics which

involves
last

by

far the

most

chapter of the book ology and anatomy of the Ear, and at this point the subject is abandoned, since the next step, which leads us to the brain,
is

conceptions. The deals with the outlines of the physidifficult abstract

the threshold of psychological and aesthetical considerations
lie

which

The

student

outside the province of Acoustics. is earnestly advised not to skip the occasional

chapters dealing with mathematics (3, 6, 10, 13, 15, 16, 17). They contain nothing whatever which a reader of average intelligence and ordinary arithmetical knowledge should not
readily understand

and, unless they are understood, the study of Acoustics becomes a mere committal to memory of facts,
;

many
to

or most of them misconceived.

A

grasp of the

ele-

mentary mathematical basis on which the subject rests leads an initiation into logical and inevitable processes, and an

unforgettable apprehension of the principles

upon which they

work.

PART

I.

PRODUCTION
I

CHAPTER

AXIOMS AND DEFINITIONS
No one can discuss even the most elementary question of Acoustics without soon discovering the necessity of using technical terms. As in every other branch of learning-,
1 1

discovery and progress in our knowledge of

Sound depend

complex ideas in single words, words convey to other the same meaning as they convey to us. people exactly Some of the words thus used in Acoustics are specialized terms (such as rarefaction or density whose meaning will
in the certain assurance that those
'
'

on our being able
1

to express

'

')

An idea has to be any and delimited, and then labelled with its proper name. grasped But occasionally words are pressed into this specialized service
present
little

difficulty to

student.

wave ') which give great trouble students because, though the words are used by everybody
(such as
'

'

elasticity

or

'

to
in
is

ordinary conversation, they are used in a sense which
scientifically inaccurate.

In this chapter a short explanation will be given of the But the special use of the more common technical terms.

student

is

warned

that in

plete, since a full

most cases the explanation is incomunderstanding depends on a logical grasp

of facts which, later on, are explained at length in sequence. Sound. Sound is invariably caused by some kind of
not sufficient to say that sound is accompanied by motion, since motion is the preliminary condition which renders the existence of a sound possible, and any particular

motion.

It is

i

4
is,

AXIOMS AND DEFINITIONS
however momentarily, subsequent
it.

sound

to the disturbance

which causes The motion of the body causing the sound

is

sometimes

of the plainly visible, as in the case of the lower strings In other cases, such as a tuning-fork or a tumblej violoncello.
struck gently with a knife, the motion to the naked eye.
is

practically invisible-

Vibration.
direction

When
say
it

we
*

is

a body moves continuously in one But when it moves a 'travelling
1

.

\ \

"^'certain distance in one direction and
//

then moves backwards over the ground

already covered,

we
If,

say

it is

oscillat-

ing
fix

to

and

fro.

for instance,

we

a strip of springy metal in a vice
it is

(as in fig. i) so that

exactly per-

pendicular, and then pull the top to the point a and let go, the metal strip
FIG. I
will,

in

virtue

of

its

springiness,
until
it

oscillate

between a and a'

ultimately comes

to rest in

its

original position.

The

following facts in connexion with the -above are essential

and
so

must be remembered
(1) the

:

(2)

movement forward from a to a' is an OSCILLATION movement from a' to a the movement from r to a, plus the movement from a plus the movement from a' to r, is one VIBRATION
the backwards
;

J

;

is

to a',

(3) the distance
state of rest

from a to the perpendicular representing the is the AMPLITUDE of the vibration. This distance
'

1
*

Unfortunately the meaning attached to such words as
'

'

vibration

and

oscillation

differs in different countries,

and

also in different writers in

the

same country. Students must not, in consequence, consider that the definitions given here are universally accepted, and in using the words themselves should state what meaning they adopt. It is very confusing
word as oscillation should mean one thing in an English text-book and something definitely different in a French one. I have adopted the French meaning, as it seems to me simpler and more logical.
that such a
'
'

the elasticity (vide infra) of the metal tends to bring the strip back to its original position at rest. the air-resistance. will exercise a cumuTative effect which by itself would in time produce a IjtateTof Secondly. which . i turned upside down. If we imagine fig. factor by swinging our pendulum in a perfect vacuum we could produce oscillations which would continue indefinitely if the whole apparatus were free from friction and the effects of wear and tear. and the vibration-number of a body is the number of times This latter it performs a complete vibration in a second. His baton will describe its 60 complete vibrations will be i per second. line from a at right angles to the per- pendicular. The vibrations of a vibrating body do not reach a listener direct. a . for two reasons. Periodic. however^ the passage included an ritardando. Movements are called periodic when they are repeated so as to occupy exactly equal periods of time. is reached Medium. his beats will be periodic they are mathematically exact. the beating will not be periodic. even though by careful balancing the_ final note '. but no metal is perfectly elastic and the oscillations conse- quently diminish in amplitude. and vibration-number If. a state of rest would be If we then eliminated this induced by air-resistance alone.AXIOMS AND DEFINITIONS is 15 found by drawing a this line r. with a weight on a string replacing the metal tongue (thus eliminating elasticity). Any body which is vibrating is called a vibrating body. Firstly. is also sometimes called the frequency of the vibration. If a conductor beats time for 60 bars of music which in ^ time if is and is marked 4 in the 120. accelerando and exactly on time ' minute. though very slight in each individual oscillation. but are communicated to a medium. r and since the point a is lower than the point will meet the perpendicular at a point a little below In the above experiment the distance aa' will gradually diminish.

it is reaches over 16. The experiments made relying on the air for conveyance) at half the distance. e. And in some respects air is actually inferior to certain other media. But almost anything may be the medium wood.. under water may be mentioned because. provided that elasticity is a property of whatever is chosen. ships disclosing to Velocity. In air the velocity of sound. &c. is it If a tree-trunk of some length easy. lead. such . water.000 in metals. it may be taken as roughly true that i foot per second is to be added to the velocity of i . and so far as musicians are concerned with Acoustics no medium other than air is of any importance. but does not increase at a uniform speed. gold and silver. with bells.16 in turn AXIOMS AND DEFINITIONS conveys them to the listener. to hear quite distinctly the sound caused is by some one a knife at the other a sound which is end gently scratching the wood with quite inaudible to any one standing up (i.000 to 15. as iron and steel. though unimportant to musicians. The pace of sound increases as the temperature rises. 80 Fahrenheit (an increase of 48 But as the velocity at on freezing-point) is 1^140 feet (an increase of 50 feet per second on 1. steel. : Velocity as the temperature remains the so long not altered by atmospheric pressure same the state of the barometer . The rate at which vibrations will travel is from the original vibrating body to the ear of the listener the velocity of sound in whatever medium is chosen. .000 feet per second wood (along the grain) from 10. the results have led to the invention of apparatus for warning of the presence of icebergs and for submarines the neighbourhood of other craft.090 feet per second. This medium is almost invariably the air. called when the temperature is at or 32 Fahrenheit).000.090). is taken as freezing-point (o Centigrade 1. in In water the velocity is nearly 5. &c. by applying lying on the ground the ear to one end.090 for every degree of heat above freezing-point Fahrenheit.

should be quite clear in his mind. the octave below C : or CC. pitch) is called C. B If A or BB. and so on.e. and Quality are the three determiningcharacteristics of every musical sound. and though. when a note is slightly higher or lower than we wish. if we strike two notes on the piano. It is no nearer the ceiling. but not the will travel. : It is also of the sound faster. C) C 2 or CCC. high /?apt>y. and then take half the water away. its vibration-number happens to be greater. is Thus Rfi= EB J is ^ . note in "~c - c any octave is named e" . though used always with one accepted meaning. familiar with the method of naming notes so as to convey their 'octave' Low C bottom C on j the pedal-oc1 board of an organ at 8 ft. and and low The Greeks used ouy and . are pictur- esque rather than rational. however. as the student will learn later. we should say that the right-hand note is higher than the other. There is no reason in the world why. Condensation and Rarefaction. That is to say. In the other direction tenor C is c. that it is 'sharp or flat The student the ' ' '. Intensity. the result and the same result would that the tumbler is half-full . its on the other hand Yet ' pipe.AXIOMS AND DEFINITIONS is 17 immaterial. Sharpness and Flatness. Romans acer and gravis and it is undoubtedly the same instinct which leads us to say.length are less. full is we have a tumbler of water. I in the Every same way as the C below it. High and Low. Nomenclature of Notes. it independent of the pitch and loudness the louder the sound the farther. ' ' it ' seems to be universal to use the words in this sense.length and string. Everybody should be (i. and the octave below that (32 ft. middle C is c or cc. that such terms. when these three qualities have been ascertained the character of any sound can be finally fixed. as well as their name. Pitch.

the lower half would be full of water. to the of people. student should from the outset make himself familiar moving The v with this idea that the directions of wave-motion and material- motion are quite independent. is of the utmost importance at a later stage of the subject. It is quite possible. >/ 1 When the student will slightly modify this view. The essential point of all water-waves. In the case of air. hovv- Water-wave. and move it along the length of the table. >ever and the realization of this is of cardinal importance V when we come to 'associated' waves is that. follow since the water would not expand.1 8 if AXIOMS AND DEFINITIONS the tumbler were air-tight. how- For if we withdraw ever. \ j& v . but at the makes acquaintance with Weber's Law (p. that in a wave-system may be in operation which the actual material of the waves is momentarily in a direction opposite to that of the wave-system. we place a walking-stick underneath the table-cloth. 109) he moment this qualification is not of importance. . the remaining half expands and fills twice its normal space. we should get a different result. When air expands in this manner into more. something moving along in a curly great majority sinuous manner. it is obvious that a wave passes down the cloth but all that the . ' This word immediately suggests. space than it requires in its normal state we say that it is rarefied when it is compressed into lcs% ' ' . for example. indeed. they are If. space than The fies normally requires we say it is condensed comparative ease with which air condenses and rareit ' '. That is to say. and there are no empty 'pockets' in the chamber. though the movements that take * place seem to be in the direction of the wave. actual particles of cloth have done has been to rise and fall perpendicularly on the table. all 1 really at right angles to this direction. the upper half becoming a vacuum. at right angles to the direction of the wave which results from their movement. half the air from an air-tight chamber.

halve the weight. e.our unit of weight and a cubic will This formula become clear to any one who will inch as our unit of volume we can > =M= V find the density of that substance x\ : 10 If we halve the volume we also. substance weighs x pounds. and so we If we could so treat the substance that it lost half'i^s. If we find that 10 cubic inches of a certain. but do not affect the density. 10 20 Thus the normal density of any substance is found by fixing on some definite unit of weight and unit of volume (or size). any increase of volume while the weight remains stationary obviously decreases the value. and is proportional to the weight. The density of a substance is the relationship of the mass to the volume. and form of the fraction units of weight units of 4 volume Any increase of weight while the volume remains stationary obviously increases the value of this fraction i. weight without decreasing in size. increases the density of the substance . then we halve the density. B 2 . and Density. for D= comparing the two in the V = i^-j^. The 19 vohiingjot a substance means the cubic space which the substance occupies. This is usually expressed by the formula apply it to a simple concrete example.AXIOMS AND DEFINITIONS Volume. 'The mass means the quantity of matter. x = x 10 If we compress the substance into half its normal space then double the density. then by taking a pound as. for still D M V a__ 5. Mass. for it still weighs x pounds.

it and insists on' It is has been disturbed. that it has been thought well.20 AXIOMS AND DEFINITIONS Elasticity. substances in reality we should name but at once as obviously elastic possess little elasticity. in the latter half of the book. So many of the technical terms of Acoustics have synonyms. and the student is so apt to be -confused by a term with which he is not familiar. the same is true if we apply a of a musical instrument. If we hang a weight on to a string the tension of the string is at all points exactly equal to the weight and . ' fundamental note ' and prime tone ' '. also 'timbre' and 'quality'. .B.string stretch one more inch. recovering its original form after not easy at first to realize the great elasticity of glass. except those with scientific knowledge. The true meaning of the 1 word is quite different. Almost every one. -'intensity' and 'loudness'. and 'pure sound' and 'simple tone' are another pair. then a force of zx pounds will stretch it two inches in all. and the tension at every point of the string applied. that the force is stretching-force to the string Hooke's Law (ut tensio sic vis as the tension) established the fact that-the is increase in length the~encls7 proportional to the force applied at Consequently if an extra force six pounds is required to make a violin. 'wave' and 'curve'. connects the idea of elasticity with the ease with which a substance allows itself to be stretched. is equal to the total force N. it elasticity in proportion as demands body possesses force to change its A original form. Tension. to use them indiscriminately in this book. when two terms mean the same thing. Thus the word 'frequency* is used as often as 'vibration-number'. as they are easy to bend and sluggish in recovering their original forms. which will almost instantly fly back to its original position when it has been bent whereas many . and.

we . An ear of wheat can produce flour which man may turn into bread. for example.CHAPTER ALL II THE PRODUCTION OF SOUND language aims at establishing a general understanding between people. that this not necessarily the case. and possibly it never will. entirely inaccurate. but if you exhaust the air in the jar. holding the ear in his hand. from a scientific standpoint. so long as they serve the purpose of facilitating the exchange of ideas. we should say in conversation that if you but a simple experiment will show shake a bell it sounds w orld. produce vibrations in the into sound. If we say. it is true that in your head the vibrations coming from the bell through the air are is turned into sound . and the vibrations which it communicates to the air are not translated into sound until they come into contact with some auditory apparatus. Similarly the bugle can . allowing our minds to jump proleptically from a means to an end. might apostrophize it as bread but it obviously has not yet become bread. that a bugle ' is sounding '. and in consequence every one acquiesces in expressions which are not scientifically accurate.of using the word 'sound' in a sense quite divorced from its scientific meaning. ' ' . and the poet. make but it a remark which is is unmistakably intelligible to every one nevertheless. air which a listener's ears may turn take place to r : though as would be the case were a stone-deaf bugler possibly this transformation will never blow his instrument out of the hearing of the rest of the Again. until . and then set it in motion. If you place a bell under a glass jar. We have in this way grown into the habit. For the bugle merely vibrates.

this sound.22 the bell is THE PRODUCTION OF SOUND swinging in a vacuum. illustration is the following. the It cannot be at the mouth of the gun. some miles out First a puff of will smoke will appear. then we can say that the only sound for which the gun was responsible was that one particular sound in your head. the vibrations come in contact with a living apparatus designed to receive and translate them. The organorgan. and is doing nothing else . pull out the stops. moment when. and the first sound in connexion with the whole affair arises at the the place where. or even generally. but in the church itself there is perfect silence. Yet the The is conception of sound embodied in the above paragraph so essential to a right understanding of all acoustical that it phenomena a little is worth while to dwell on fired its bearings longer. fix down the notes. the result will Then go and stand outside left to the imagination. leaving it empty as you found it. bell is performing precisely the same part as before. all A commoner and perhaps more striking If you go alone to the organ in all an empty church. When a body is vibrating it is . and not always. for if you could telephone to the gunner he would say that in the neighbourhood of the there had been peace and quiet for some* seconds. the result is silence. and turn on the wind. It cannot be at some chance point between the gun and clearly gun Consequently the sound must be in your head. And though other similar sounds will be in the heads of all the you. ask yourself where At it is. In some possible to see the vibrations with the naked eye. be a noise best pipes are vibrating and are doing nothing else . You will still hear the the church. and some seconds later you moment of hearing hear the report of the explosion. other listeners yet. if we assume for the moment that the gun was fired by electrical contact on a desert island with yourself as the only soul within range of hearing. because the vibrations have no means of reaching your ear. Supposing that you see a big gun at sea. the air is passing on those vibrations to the nearest ear.

we draw a sound from a finger- bowl half-full of water. on white instead of white on black. Two for bringing them more under of these methods will be described now. impossible by the unaided examination of the eye to form any reliable conclusions as to the nature of vibrations. I. as black II. fine point is attached . for example the movement is obvious in others. which at then moved pace. The graphic method. it is invisible in smallsized forks though noticeable in large ones. prong moves to and fro. by rubbing a moistened finger gently round the rim.to one prong of a tuning-fork. [In the illustration the curve is shown. it to our tongue or lips. for the sake of clearness.THE PRODUCTION OF SOUND cases . by placing a finger to a state of rest. and a strip of glass is prepared by blackening it in The fork is set in a flame. however. and various methods have been invented observation. Sometimes called the manometnc name. This gas enters the oval enclosure and can only escape at A. When we accidentally strike a tumbler that during a meal we show. \ < Pa&iqfglass along a uniform _ r \ \ The point traces a curve on the glass by scratching away the black as the. A motion and is the attached \ r=r^= point applied to the strip of glass. we know the sound will cease if the glass is reduced If. the vibration of the glass is established by the visible excitement of the surface of the water. such as tuning-forks. exit) by the a note the Now E ' the apparatus will make it . v_^x^\ Fi<j_ 2. 23 stretched strings.] Koenigs flames. since it is prevented from B reaching c (the membranous sung near only other partition at DE. * membrane vibrate in sympathy with and will each forward or backward movement of the membrane make . It is. we apply on it. again. A is an ordinary gas-jet supplied with gas through the tube at B. But even in the case of small forks the existence of rapid movement is quickly established if. after striking the instrument on something solid.

the triangle. As will be found later on. A cork pulled out of a bottle. have no pitch at all . the cymbals and triangle. whereas a noise will produce in the mirror being too rapid to see. scientists in accordance with the conclusions arrived at from the two physical experiments such as When the vibrations of a body recur at exactly regular intervals they are said to be periodic. indeed. nevertheless. The most important of these is the fact that. and the question of pleasantness of quality is ignored. which easy to obtain certain conclusions. both used for musical purposes. whereas irregular unperiodic vibration will invariably result in noise. and so a musical sound is as one that has an ascertainable a poet as musical. some doubtful cases. might be described by pitch. frequently give notes of clear pitch. possessing the baffling property of apparently sounding in tune with whatever note is being played with it. and a line of demarcaIt is tion has been drawn by just described. since lish it is meant to estab- a working classification and not to enunciate an inexorable law. it is to be classed with There are. a musical note produces a series characterized by symmetry and smoothness of outline. makes it a series of jagged flames of all sizes and shapes. such periodic vibration results in definiteness of pitch. and such periodic vibration will produce a musical sound . but to the scientist noises. to accept the scientific division. or a pencil pulled sharply out of a On the other hand case. for instance. The rustling of leaves. considered. presses the gas towards the flame or pulls This up-and-down motion of the flame it is reflected in a revolving mirror. necessary to establish on a scientific basis the difference between a musical sound and a noise. A body vibrating periodically at a continuous and uniform rate will always (as experiment proves) produce sounds of .24 THE PRODUCTION OF SOUND fall the flame rise or it as it in the opposite direction. It will be well. however. scientifically.

the drum). (6) By the vibrations of elastic solid bodies (e. which is the type of all flue-pipes).g. the vibrations of elastic membranes acted on by solids (e. At present there are six sounds for musical purposes : common ways of generating (1) By the vibrations of columns of air (e. and. number of vibrations per second required to produce it. (2) (3) (4) By By By By the vibrations of stretched strings.number. the (5) human voice).) with another note. octave. or relatively by comparing it (as fifth. the vibrations of elastic membranes acted on by air (e. when the right number for a given note has been ascertained. any body made produce a note to vibrate at that rate will inevitably produce the note in question. the pennywhistle. is The number of vibrations the note's required to called vibration-number or frequency. and to enlarge the number of sounds obtainable by any one method.g.THE PRODUCTION OF SOUND . g. Hence it is established that every note has an exact . &c. by giving its vibration. . From the earliest ages man has tried to increase the number of ways at his disposal for producing periodic vibrations.g. the vibrations of reeds. and we may describe the pitch of a note absolutely. bells). 25 the same pitch and any other body made to vibrate at the same rate will produce a sound in unison with exactly the first.

e. PITCH III CHAPTER x^_X ON PENDULUM-MOTION IF we attach a weight to a cord which set the in is fixed at t motion by making it swing encl. The actual movement of a pendulum is so simple that the reader will have no difficulty in imagining one in motion. small the oscillations are isochronous^ that Between the full they occupy exactly the same time. without circular backwards motion). if we assume that the two ropes keep exactly A parallel. which is clearly a portion of the circumference of the is circle of which the fixed point the centre. an example. swing (which is just short of a semicircle) and the smallest (which is the minute fraction of an inch immediately pre- . The weight is called the 'bob'. and the path of the bob through air. garden swing. the pendulum by ourselves or the backwards and foroscilla-^ wards. either will passenger. the seat and the person sitting it). oscillate no further force is applied. We on take hold of the bob force at it e. is called the arc of vibration. the and then we have an example of a simple pendulum in action. describing an arc which grows less with each don is gained. and so traverse precisely similar paths. which is called the Law of Pendulum-motion. weight and forwards in a plane (i. will furnish (i. position it assumes when If away from the perpendicular rest.PART II. until ultimately the original poitiojQjof_rest The one essential feature of these oscillations. and then let go our hold. is is that so long as the arc of vibration is.

is the following. to be of the same type as the curve traced on glass smoked sary at this tance as to by a tuning-fork (fig.ON PENDULUM-MOTION 27 ceding absolute stoppage) there is a discrepancy in time of something like 20 per cent. 2. but so long as the arc remains small and for musical purposes (cf. is provided with a bob which is a hollow sphere with a fine powder. then uniform pace in a direc- tion at right angles to the the sand will be found to have traced a curve on the board. 4) represents to the eye the move- ment a simple pendular vibration. the tuning-fork) only small arcs are necessary oscillations are isochronous and . \J\J\-/\S But if the board at a moved Along movement of the pendulum. of board 1 dulum. p. large enough to cover the swing of the bob. but when once the length is fixed any given pendulum will beat time with mathematical exactness. on examination. are not affected in the arc. We time by the diminishing__amplitude of can alter the pace of a pendulum by lengthen- ing or shortening the cord. make imperative for the student to understand . It is not necespoint to dwell on the deductions to be drawn from beyond saying that they are of such imporit this coincidence. Ever since the law of isochronous motion was discovered by Galileo experiments have been made with a view to gaining One further insight into the nature of pendulum-motion. and it is found. If a level board. is ^ *g placed underneath the penit Path. of these experiments. 23). and as the pendulum swings the powder escapes (like the sand in the top half of an hour-glass) A pendulum filled through a hole in the bob. The curve thus formed in (fig. provided that it is started on its swing with a fairly small arc. the will obviously receive in powder a straight is line. of the very greatest importance in Acoustics.

as stated above. where it It . And the cardinal feature of the whole process is the fact. keep absolutely strict time. by changing the length of tape. may be desirable to go a little beyond the above superficial account of pendulum-motion. Hence the the distance of A from B will is a little less than that of c . yet the time occupied by the bob over each curve. but slightly nearer to B . VI. for the benefit of 'those readers who wish to have a more scientific conception of the process.28 ON PENDULUM-MOTION the nature of pendular vibration. are quite simple. It p. is exactly the same. 5 and then set it if we hold it position of rest. comes to momentary rest and proceeds to do the same journey in an opposite direction. (2) Friction. but as they involve inverse variation and square root they will be explained later on (Chap. which affect the (1) G&i3lito>+ pendulum the movement from c to B. of various kinds (including air-resistance). B. the bob at c free. great or small. small weight attached to a tape and hung on a nail in the wall will. that though the curve described by the bob grows ever less and less. from its first swing (which this A must not be of too large a sweep) to its later scarcely perThe fixed ceptible movements. which is the factor that causes the gradual shortening of the arc and the ultimate state of rest of the bob. 39]. Many musicians have proved for themselves the truth of law by constructing simple and inexpensive metronomes. in fig. is held away from the position of rest and set free its from with increasing speed towards E. the momentum thus acquired would (in the absence of other forces) work against gravity and take the bob to a point A : which causes exactly as far from B as c is. falls with increasing speed towards with diminishing then swings uphill speed to A. the bob rest. When it falls. There are two forces to be considered. laws for altering the pace of such a metronome.g. when set in motion. and bob swing back to a point near c.

a book falling on to the floor. change from kinetic to potential (which Although it the isochronism is complete at of pendulum-motion A). the whole object of this chapter. apt to look on energy but it is really of two kinds ' ' as necessarily : Potential g/ggrgyjthat is. 29 from any kind would go on for If a pendulum could be constructed free it of friction. . in the interests of accuracy.on a table. power to do work by reason of motion e. ever. The layman implying motion (1) is .lengths is not considerable. g. it and the understanding of should be stated. power to do work by reason of position e.ON PENDULUM-MOTION than A is. and the musical student need not modify his conception unless he intends to penetrate fairly the ordinary deeply into the mathematical and physical basis of the subject. in not great where the difference in pendulum arc. is the essential point affecting Acoustics. : Kinetic energy that is. 5) (2) involves a gradual change from potential to kinetic energy from B to A a reverse gradual (which is complete at B) . a book lying. and were set swinging in a vacuum. that the cycloidal pendulum is the only one which is perfectly isochronous. is The error. In pendulum-motion the movement from C to B (fig. g. however.

but on different sides of ae. The portion of the curve enclosed in the oblong of dotted lines is that traced by the needle The prong during one complete vibration. 6. 6 FIG. . Examining such a we can establish various facts about the vibration of the prong which traced it. FEB. is vibration results in^a-note of steady pitch. downwards affixed to the to the full its again to extent in the opposite direction. (3) isochronous or periodic. 23) will recall the fact that a vibrating tuning-fork can be made to trace its own curve.CHAPTER WE have (1) IV ABSOLUTE PITCH now three facts at our disposal on which : we can build our ideas of pitch A^teadyjate_of Pendulum-motion. 7). (1) abode is the curve representing one complete vibration. curve begins at the point the needle would occupy when at rest. cde are curves exactly similar. and upwards point of rest. (2) abc. 2 (p. moves upwards to the full extent of its swing. section in detail (fig. which is like that in fig. 7 A glance back at fig. The vibrations of a tuning-fork are of a pendular nature. (2) within the limits necessary for acoustical purposes.

fixed in a vice at V. so will the approaches curve traced on the glass approach nearer and nearer to a 2 (p. 7. If. of metal fixed in a vice In (fig. will trace the curve in fig. the tuning-fork whose prong traced the curve of fig. then_no matter how large : learn from the application to the vibrations of a tuning- ot small the . thought applied to the experiment in make it clear that. . and swings It may well be noticed and the this length rate of vibration. then there would have been twice as many vibration-curves on any given length of the smoked glass i. the length remains when the initial constant. The same may be applied to the experiment with a strip or tongue 14).amplitude _r> the traced may be. fig. 9 the perpendicular line represents the tongue of metal. as the vibrating fork nearer and nearer to its point of rest. set here that there is free. The same fork which. each vibration-curve would have been : half as long. 1 called the crest. 8. p.ABSOLUTE PITCH (3) ace is is (4) (5) abc bb' the length of the vibration-curve. produce the curve of fig. 6 had vibrated twice as fast. i. It is forced from 1 its point of rest at r to the point a. it will be found by measurement that the length of aeh successive wave remains treatment constant. This is the fact which we of the law of pendulum-motion fork that if the smoked glass be drawn across the path of the attached needle at a uniform pace. FIG. a very Now fig. a definite relationship between for example. o impetus has weakened. e. in the full vibration following a blow. And the cardinal fact which a comparison of figs. though the amplitude of the curve has changed. 7 and 8 reveals is that. cde the trough of the curve. 23) will straight line. or dd' (which are equal) give the amplitude of the little crest and trough. will some seconds later.

the . . higher in pitch has inevitably the higher vibration. each taking the same time independently of the changes of amplitude. possible to test. is depends on nothing of two notes. the colour will cease to be distinguishable long before the funnels become invisible and if we listen to a chromatic scale which goes on up or down without stopping we soon reach a point where pitch is unrecognizable. as the tongue gets half the more and more tired and nearer to its state of rest. body we falls. find that the pitch rises if we decrease the rate the pitch And that it is an established fact that pitch else than this rate of vibration. bearing to each other a relationship analogous to that between the power of sight and the power of distinguishing colour. we can unknown from the known by means of the simple i formulae 7 where It is Z'is the time of a period and N the number of vibrations limitations tests per second. The amplitude of vibration distance ad'. it is not so widely recognized as it should be that these two faculties are quite distinct. of audibility in a person and such reveal curious divergences between individuals in the power both of recognizing pitch and of hearing extreme sounds at all. Incidentally. for some time we continue to hear squeaks or grunts.32 ABSOLUTE PITCH is across through r to a. though . so the amplitude But the vibrations remain periodic. the one Hence. If we watch the departure of a ship with red funnels. number and the vibration -number of a note means always the number of vibrations per second that will produce the note. by mechanical means. and it is clear that. gets smaller and smaller. is The fraction of a second occupied by otre vibration called \\s>period\ and if we know either the period of one vibration or the find the number of vibrations in a second. If we increase the rate of vibration of a vibrating .

vibra- . all. we nothing further to be registered.to produce the illusion of continuity. failing to connect the too- slow vibrations into a continuous sound. and then the sound disintegrates. this power varies considerably in individual It is of the human But as a general rule it may be said that no note whose vibration -number is lower than 3O_ or higher than gS rooe is cases.000. registers them only as a series of disjunct sensations. There is a curious difference in the feeling we experience when the silence-point is reached at the low end of the scale. the eye fails . when a number of listeners all jagree_ that there is silence. By certain point a listener will fail to hear anything at will claim that the instrument is silent. so the ear. there is the low end. but into a system of throbs. only so rapidly . not into silence. and is But the whistle really producing its vibrations just as before. impossible to give any very definite limits to the power ear to recognize either pitch or sound. however.ABSOLUTE PITCH The Galton whistle is 33 an instrument invented for testing in the region of high sounds. audible. Just as in a cinematograph. reach our deepest note.the rate of vibration) it can be made At a to produce a sound which rises continuously higher. At the_higji end. shortening the pipe (and in consequence increasing. as has been stated. when the pictures are presented at too slow a pace. as to be useless to the ear of the particular listener whereas another individual might still find the sound within range. since. and that pitch cannot be recognized unless the tion-number falls between 30 and 4.

Tiave lib w reached a state of great ingenuity and perfection. 25. (3) electrical. The two chief methods are wheel and (6) thg-sifen. Those men. 5 ^uW/G' (a] Mechanical. as is the custom of human Men with a practical turn of mind set work synthetically to construct instruments which would produce vibrations of the periodic kind. (2) optical. and thereby Consequently their object was to devise various ways of bringing under observation the vibrations which they knew to be too rapid unknown. and too minute for the unassisted senses to grasp.CHAPTER V THE MEASUREMENT OF PITCH soon as the elementary facts of Acoustics were discovered we might almost say as soon as they were suspected As men began beings. in to to make two ways. The . use of them. and four headings : may be grouped under (1) mechanical. and in course of time found out the six methods tabulated on p. The methods thus invented for the measurement of though at first necessarily rather crude. (a) Sayart's toothed (or ratchet) the toothed wheel consists of a circular disk of metal with equidistant teeth cut into the circumference. however. (4) photographic. whose minds were of an inquiring and scientific bent wished rather to analyse and group the to penetrate farther into the first facts. pitch.

which . but instead of circumference we pierce cutting/teeth on its a series of little circular holes in it. strip constiwill one vibration. clear that the strip has been hit 200 times and the resulting note has a frequency of 200. we can find of a note of any pitch from the formula : teeth. equidistant from each other. and this pace can be kept perfectly uniform and can also be exactly ascertained. apparatus it would steadily in position so that the column of air blown through C 2 the centre. must be such to recover its that its tendency in it each in position will result separate tooth striking turn. II placed in the same We then blow through a tube held revolve. A thin strip of metal (or even card- bbard) is fixed so as to touch the teeth of the wheel as and the elasticity of the strip it revolves . For the sake of greater accuracy this calculation is generally made by taking the number of revolutions per minute^ and dividing the result by 60. with the one difference that the vibrations are caused directly in the air instead of being communi- cated to the air by the motion of an elastic body. Thus if jT= the number of number of revolutions per minute. Each up-and-down will motion of the tute .THE MEASUREMENT OF PITCH disk 35 is fixed into an apparatus which will keep it revolving at any pace desired. is The disk and made to . Thus. communicated to the air be and by IO changing the speed of revolution a note of the desired pitch can be secured. 100 teeth in the wheel and it has revolved exactly twice it is The vibration-number number of teeth in the if there are in a second. all the j\ disk is being equal in size. and R the the vibration-number 60 (fi) The siren is an instrument of exactly the same nature as the toothed wheel. and all at the same distance from holes FIG. of this note is then found by multiplying the wheel by the number of revolutions per second. taken as before.

(3) the Cycloscope. by multiplying the number of holes and the number of revolutions. which necessarily rather wide in the more elementary methods. the revolution begins this column of air is cut up into is as it puffs '. They owe their exis- tence to the need for reducing the margin of inaccuracy. the other end being attached to a weight. one end of which is fixed. and the vibration-number of the resulting note is found. entering the field of vision. already mentioned on p. as in the case of Savart's wheel. as the student should have a general idea of the scope of scientific investigation. as near as possible to zero. 2. and Optical (2) methods 1 : (1) manometric flames. an elaborate combination of microscope. since they concern mathematicians and It is men of science is rather than musicians. 12 from it involve the use of IT. which is based on the graphic method (see (1) the Vibroscope fig. measurement by means of the phonograph instruments. besides the two already described. method of making the vibrations and a tuning-fork which. and results obtained This is Fro. 23 . revolving black drum marked with equidistant white lines. 23) . of a tuning-fork. not primarily an instrument for determining pitch. consequently it would serve kindred (3) no purpose to discuss it further . as alternately allowed to pass through a hole and then is cut off until Each the next hole appears opposite to the end of the blow-pipe. Lissajous visible M. puff creates a vibration in the air. (2) the Monochord or Sonometer^ an instrument with a single string. Mechanical methods include. not proposed to describe in detail any other methods of measuring pitch. p. But a few of these inventions will now be mentioned.36 THE MEASUREMENT OF PITCH As soon ' pass through one of the holes when the disk is at rest. creates waves which the expert can control and observe. .

was as high as treble C 538. Theoretical writers have for long favoured a pitch which assumed an imaginary note C whose vibration. but the old 'concert-pitch' in Garden. and this is called French pitch. The pitch of any given sound has always been evident that great conveniences would result from the existence of one recognized Standard of Pitch but it is only in recent times that serious pure convention. until we reached middle C (2 ) 256 and treble C (2) 512. This gave a simple system of units. in 1858. and was formerly the second octave 2 2 the third octave 2 3 8 called Philosophic Pitch. 1 Fixed by the Society of Arts in 1869. and Covent no C Handel's tuning-fork (to go back 510. &c. and so on. and the pitch recognized by the Philharmonic and Crystal Palace orchestras. It is known that conventional musical pitch has risen con- sistently from early times. The the apparatus. This standard is still frequently used by mathematicians. can be discovered in any work which treats Acoustics from the purely scientific side. Then again octave of this note would have the vibration -number 2. . which involves a familiarity with the problem of 'beats of the third order'. treble farther) gave 1 England gave 528 for the same note. in 1878.THE MEASUREMENT OF PITCH One other invention either 37 which by may be named or tuning-forks the Tonometer means of reeds provides data on which exact nature of mathematicians can base their calculations. . In France a Government Commission. It \ efforts have been made to fix such a standard. adopted 540. One vibration took one second one wave-length was equal to the number of feet : in the velocity the first of sound for one second. determined and expressed without any ambiguity by means of its vibration-number but the pitch of any given note in the musical scale is a matter of is . fixed treble C = 5 1 7. . until the end of last century. or Diapason normal .number was i.

almost the as same pitch was adopted now known New Philharmonic. \ .38 THE MEASUREMENT OF PITCH in and England. \ This stan522 which dard is gradually becoming universal. and the only obstacle to it of any account is the expense involved in replacing wind-instruments and retuning organs. in is 1 896.

also one where it is peculiarly difficult to discover a is definite relation. to discover the relation between the two rates of variation. and no method of esti- be at any given time. e.PART III. and that if we understand the laws tainty. it is clear that twenty-four hours. gress resulting from eight. And though such a case it is one where everybody will instantly see the connexion. will not produce three times the pro- elementary acoustics. and we can discover no cause mating what the quantity in other cases will for it. the variation in progress is indissolubly A connected with the variation in work. There are four kinds of mathematical variation which occur in indulged in regularly. each (as mathematicians would say) being difiinction of the other. and a student should be able to grasp . For though eight hours' regular work a day twice (or more than twice) the progress resulting may produce from four hours' work. predict the variation with cerIn such cases the increase and decrease are found to we can be indissolubly connected with the increase and decrease of something else and it is one of the tasks of mathematicians . Sometimes such variation seems to be quite arbitrary. depends on the amount of work he does i. that the quantity of it is different at different every times. for instance. as one knows. student's progress. But we can see that the increase and decrease which constitute the variation are due to certain laws. INTENSITY VI CHAPTER WHEN we N MATHEMATICAL VARIATION say that a thing varies in amount we mean.

when we consider open at the effect of pressure on Take a tube which is one end and insert a I b t 3 a piston in that opening. instance of such variation in Acoustics occurs air. from right to left) is normal. 13 a represents this tube and piston in a state of rest i U i. 1 3 a. and so on.e. to prevent required to keep the piston in position the elasticity of the air from forcing the piston back to its normal force position in fig. that the unit of time a day. is mathematical jargon. its density has been increased) and a corresponding that is. In * PIG. are merely matters of obvious common sense two kinds but the two last. can only be expressed in what. e. . n i in n days. we can find out the unknown from the known by the simplest mental amount paid arithmetic. to most people. In 2 in two days. earn 3 you mathematical language the facts are stated in the formula that This you earn like to say.e. 13 forced down the piston has been the tube. An only. pressed is the same. the pressure of the air from inside is greater than The air in the enclosed chamber has been forcibly com- (i. and to such people the laws of intensity must inevitably remain a rigmarole of nonsense. where n stands for any number you When is per day in is the wage we say . 13 fig. per day. The . in three days. If you earn 1 is the simplest case of all. first though almost equally simple in meaning. is when sure exactly equal the atmospheric preson each side of t~ I-U the piston. Fig. the unit of money a sovereign and if we know the wages or the amount of time worked. Hence these two latter forms are seldom really apprehended by those unfamiliar with mathematics. and though tne atmospheric pressure on it from outside (i. When two (a) One mny vary things vary together directly as the other.40 their ON MATHEMATICAL VARIATION meaning with very little trouble.

two men set to work on . and enclosed air. later on. the job in j like Or. One may vary directly as the square of the other. and say that the time taken varies If you double the inversely as the number of the workers. and the If air in the been moved by force in the opposite enclosed chamber has been diminished in density. 41 i3<r the piston has direction. so that when the pressure is increased. two such plots. we remove will the force which holds the piston in this the piston back again to the normal this means that the pressure of the position. falls below normal when the doubled the density (6) is doubled also. then the pressure of the atmosphere at the free end (which is still normal) of fig. that the pressure of a mass of air varies as its density. . he will take 24 and so on done. then four hours. 14. Draw an acute angle HAK. labour you halve the time: multiply the workers by any in this case And we number you number. force position 13 a. Then measure (c) . and bisect it by a dotted line. th and you must divide the time by the same n workers will finish (-) the time. which rose above normal when the density was density is diminished. This fact is embodied in Mariotte's Law. as between time spent and work hours to dig- is direct. An example of such variation will be found. will take six hours only if the original plot the digging three men. to exist between the vibration-numbers of notes and the lengths of pipes or strings required to produce them. in mathematical language.ON MATHEMATICAL VARIATION In fig. and the variation. if But so on. 36 hours to dig three. inverted when it is turned upside down. A number f One may vary is inversely as the other. is Thus the inversion of f f : the inversion of 5 (which is equivalent to f ) is If a man can dig a plot of a certain size in 12 hours. The grasp of the above depends on the recognition of one simple geometrical fact illustrated in fig.

twice as far from A as BC is.ON MATHEMATICAL VARIATION off a series fig. 15). and limited on each side of it by the we now draw. FIG. Now if we move we know (from fig. FG is. . and HK four times. If we insert a slide which is quite black except for a small square in the middle. 15 then light will a square of white be thrown on the sheet. is exactly twice the length. lines at right angles the dotted line. is and BC exactly one yard. being exactly Let us now imagine that a lantern is made to shine on a white sheet in a dark room just the ordinary magic-lantern of a village entertainment. all of equidistant points along the dotted line. In z the four points so measured (p l p*. through lines AH and AK (BC. DE. FG. three times the length of BC. HK). FIG. become twice as long. BC will away from the sheet. p . . then such lines have an elementary geometrical relationship. 14 If to these points. similarly. is Assuming that the lantern is shining then BCDE represents the square of light. 14 p*} are (let us suppose) an inch apart. For DE. at L if (fig. then there the lantern twice as far 14) that one square yard illuminated on the sheet.

we consider the intensity of illumination. 9 square y?x&$. 2 units of distance give us an area of 4 square yards (2 2 ). 2 3 units of distance give us an area of 9 square yards (3 ). at twice the distance. if we move get a square whose area is times as far giving us 16 square yards.four and so on. The first Law of Intensity. strong. at one unit of distance. I. the velocity of sound in one velocity in another varies directly as the If one medium is four times as elastic sound in it is twice as fast if nine times . then three times as (2) fast. had to fill a space of i square yard of sheet is obliged.ON MATHEMATICAL VARIATION That is 43 to say. elasticity. the unit of distance gives us an area of i area of light on the sheet varies directly as the square of the distance. of distance it has to cover 9 square yards. 2 4 units of distance give us an area of 16 square yards (4 ). of illumina- tion varies inversely as the square of the distance between the lantern and the sheet. The same amount of light which. One may vary inversely as the square of the other.. discussed in the next chapter. the velocity : . and consequently it to spread itself over 4 square yards At three units will only be a quarter as strong at any point. As acoustical examples of such variation we may add of sound in one (i) When the elasticity is the same. instead of the area illuminated. the velocity of as elastic. as the other. the square will now have a side 2 yards in length and four square yards the lantern three times as far in area. we We can tabulate these results as follows 1 : square yard. Two (1) applications of this form of variation to Acoustics : may be pointed out here When the density to its is medium compared square root of the the same. or intensity.e. Thus we can say that the strength. Similarly. and will be ^ as . The same example of the magic-lantern will serve to illus(a) trate this form of variation if.

the comparative velocity of sound ( V] in them may be calculated : as fast as in hydrogen. have the same elasticity.44 ON MATHEMATICAL VARIATION to its medium compared velocity in another varies inversely as the square root of the density.e. travels in its density is 16 times as great). from the formula (2) The time-period of the swing of a pendulum varies inversely If you multiply the length by four as the square root of its length. but the former is 16 times as heavy as the latter (i. The second Law of Intensity. multiply the length by nine and the number of oscillations (3) is one-third. Therefore sound oxygen only % For those who are not dismayed by mathematical formulae the above law may be expressed as follows If the elasticity (E] and density (Z>) of two different media are known. discussed in the next chapter. Oxygen and hydrogen. . for example. the number of oscillations is half as many .

CHAPTER
INTENSITY
Intensity,
is

VII

INTENSITY
the second of the three elements
(Pitch,

and
that

it is it is

and Quality) into which we can divide any sound, We have seen merely another name for loudness
'

'.

possible to

make a vibrating body

register its vibration

in black

have

and white, and that the wave-curves so registered three characteristics length, amplitude, and shape.
saw, further, that pitch depended solely on the pace i. e. on the length of the wave, since the
:

And we

of the vibrations

slower the tuning-fork in

fig.

2

(p. 23)

vibrates, the fewer

wave-lengths

will

it

trace

on the smoked

glass.

Intensity depends

on the amplitude of the
into motion

vibrations,

and

on nothing
stimulus

else.

When we

see a

body agitated

by some external

as illustrations

a spinning-top or a plucked violin-string will serve we know by experience that as time passes
;

the agitation imparted to the body by the stimulus decreases i. e. unless we renew the stimulus the movement will gradually

diminish and ultimately
fact,

come
it,

to an end.

and learn to rely on

many

suspect this before we know years

We

anything about friction or elasticity. Similarly we know that a tongue of metal, fixed in a vice and made to vibrate, will at
length reach its position of rest. Now the distance from the position of rest to the extreme

we know, its amplitude, decreases throughout the whole amplitude gradually process of vibration. But we also know, by experience, that the sound, of which the vibrating tongue is the source, grows
point of any oscillation
this
is

called, as

and

at

the same time gradually weaker and ultimately ceases.

46

INTENSITY
our natural suspicion that these two diminishing quantiat the

And

same moment, simultaneously at the full, decreasing together and disappearing at one and the same instant must be interdependent and causally connected, is and is founded on physical law. true,
tiescreated
student should be quite clear that the amplitude of the curve in fig. 2 (p. 23) depends solely on the distance which
the agitated prong swings away from its position of rest. As the oscillations of the prong decrease from their maximum to
zero, so the amplitude of the curve decreases

The

from

its

fullest

width to

nil

since,

when

the fork

is at

rest, the needle will

trace a straight line on the moving glass. By careful experiments physicists have discovered that there

a definite connexion between amplitude and intensity, and have established the law that intensity depends on amplitude
is

alone.

The two
1 i )

laws of Intensity are as follows

:

Intensity varies directly as the square of the amplitude

of Vibration.
two points be taken on the curve traced by the tuning-fork on glass such that the amplitude of one is twice the amplitude of the other, then the volume of sound at the moment of tracing the curve of greater amplitude was four times that at the moment of
If

smoked

lesser.

In other words, when the swing of the prong or fixed metal
is

tongue by
4.

doubled the resultant sound

is

multiplied in

volume

as (2) Intensity varies inversely

the square of the distance

from the vibrating body.
If you are listening to the sound of a trumpet at a distance of 100 yards, and then walk away from it until the distance is 200 yards, you will hear only a quarter of the volume of sound that you heard in the first instance
;

while at 300 yards you will hear only a volume

of one-ninth.

The second
if it is

of the above laws

may perhaps be more

easily

grasped

connected with the

earlier illustration of the magic-lantern.

INTENSITY

47

Areas of spheres vary as the squares of their radii. That is to say, if a round football-bladder of given radius is blown out until the
radius
is

doubled,

it

will

require

four times the amount of leather And since unimto cover it.

peded vibrations spread out equally in all directions from their source (like an expanding

FlG l6 bladder), we can see that the vibrations starting at A (fig. 16), which have to cover an area whose side, when the radius is AC, is the arc BC, will have to
-

cover an area whose side

is

the arc

DE when
is

the radius has been

doubled into AE.
It

And

the latter area

four times the former.

must be remembered that the Intensity of sound, though following the above laws when conditions are ideal and constant, is interfered

with to a certain extent by several fortuitous
direcair at

and more or less incalculable circumstances. Thus the tion and power of the wind, and also the density of the
fluence of wind,

a given moment, will modify the volume of sound. The inthough very great, cannot be calculated with
in

any approach

and the question of the variations density of our atmosphere from time to time does not fall
to exactness
;

within the scope of knowledge essential for a musician. But Intensity is enormously affected by one other consideration

into

which

it

is

imperative

we

should inquire,

viz.

the

presence, accidental or otherwise, of some body which, by sympathetic vibration, will reinforce the vibrations of the
original body.

The next
is

of this kind, which

chapter will deal with reinforcement called Resonance.

CHAPTER
WHEN
obstacle

VIII

RESONANCE
the vibrations of the air

come

into contact with an

which prevents

their

normal progress, any one of

three things

may
be

happen.

They may

(i) reflected,

(2)

destroyed,

(3) refracted.

Reflection occurs when, owing to the hardness of the obstacle, the vibrations rebound and continue their course in
(1)

a changed direction. It is clear from this that if we take up a position in a building and listen to a singer or speaker, we may actually receive through our ears not only the air-vibrations

which come to us direct from

his

forcing vibrations

which are

reflected

mouth, but also reinfrom various parts of

the walls and ceiling.

When

these auxiliary vibrations reach

us simultaneously with the direct ones or at so nearly the same instant that the combination results in one reinforced

sound

say that the resonance of the hall is good. When confusion results the local reporter will repeat what every one

we

else has

been saying
'.

'

the acoustical properties of the building

are unsatisfactory

When
when we

reflection occurs in

an exactly opposite direction

as

sing a note down a straight corridor, or across the water towards a perpendicular cliff it creates a thing familiar to every one, i. e. Echo.
(2)

Destruction occurs when the obstacle

is
'

so soft in sub',

stance that the natural resilience, or
air

power

of bounce

in the

(due to

its elasticity) is

prevented from coming into play.

the scientific of the word. of the direction of vibrations due to conditions in the air will not be dealt with until we approach the whole question of Transmission. however. The meaning point tion. whose auxiliary vibrations will add something more to the : sum-total of sound resulting from the original body alone. For instance. Scientifically Resonance refers to that meaning increase or reinforcement which a sound can acquire through the co-operation of other vibrating bodies or columns of air. Resonance proper is of three kinds (i) The original vibration may be reinforced (i. by destroying vibrations that would otherwise have been reflected. in conversaIt is not. To remedy this a large curtain was hung across the west end which.RESONANCE 49 tennis-ball against a A similar result follows if we throw a feather mattress. since it refers to the change ' (or bending ') itself. very largely improved the conditions of hearing. understand to convey. is attached to the the one which most it word Resonance up to this human beings would. and the resulting made louder) by the help of some other body . for the soft material of the clothes of the audience is engaged is less room resonant when full in killing all vibrations which come in contact with if it. When it was first used it was found to be so full of resonance and echo that a speaker's words became a mere jumble of sound. and of an almost unbroken surface. The it practical importance of this fact is great. is were replaced by an equal number of undraped stone An interesting case of the intentional use of a soft obstacle provided by the chapel of Keble College. This building is not only high in comparison with its length and width. (3) Refraction. but also has walls which are hard and smooth.e. fact that gives an adequate explanation of the well-known a of people than when empty . The resonance of the room would not be diminished the audience statues. the amplitude of the vibration tone thereby may be increased. Oxford.

it placed quite can be heard plainly at a distance of (2) simple example of direct action on the air by a vibrating body is provided by the ordinary organ-reed. by the body on the to in (3) by the excitement communicated from one body we place the end (1) of a vibrating tuning-fork on a table. in the matter of rapidity. whatever rate. now becomes many so strong that yards. we place it over the reed. governed by the pace at which the reed vibrates. another by means of air-vibrations. a pipe containing a column of air of the length required). we can find the of the sound in air. and the column will ' catch ' the vibration. e. is under the control of the fork. Such a reed produces by itself a poor and somewhat raucous tone. pitch we can. find its vibration- the vibration -number. independently of its dimensions and shape. of course. in (2) air. An example of this kind is seen when The sound of the fork. is agitated into a state of vibration which. (2) its RESONANCE shape and size. (3) We can induce the sympathetic vibration of a second to it body by a stimulus conveyed air-space. . A whose pitch is Knowing this number and knowing . and by vibrating in sympathy will so reinforce the sound that it attains a full and rich quality. will vibrate at the same We can the original secure the same result by deliberately bringing body into contact with a column of air whose length has a calculated relationship to the wave-length of the original vibrations.50 which. The wood of the table. ordinarily so is feeble as to be inaudible unless the instrument close to the ear. Constructing a pipe of such wave-length a length (i. through an intervening is In these three cases the reinforcement in (i) obtained by the direct impact of a vibrating action of a vibrating body on a body directly at rest.

where the comparatively weak vibrations of the vocal cords are reinforced by the columns of air in the mouth. 4 feet in length.y. you will find that suddenly one note acquires an enormously increased resonance. choose a chord within the range of his voice. such instinctive muscular control of these cavities is that the air enclosed in them required for the reinforcement of the note cords are producing. and this is the note which is proper to the pipe. owing to the already vibrating at the same pace as that at which they themselves cause it to vibrate. That is to say. by practice. 2 and. If you then sing slowly up or down within these limits with your mouth close to one end of the pipe. or sympathetically. any of the three notes. (b) Take an open pipe between fact that the air is around them Such a pipe. throat. (3) always of the exact dimensions which the vocal who Many simple experiments may be made by any one wishes to establish the principles of the third and com1 depress on a piano the three notes monest form of Resonance* (a) Silently \'. D 2 . and when you cease singing the piano will continue (as long as you keep the by holding the notes down) sustaining whichever note you have sung. can produce them either directly. and nasal cavities. Then As sing into the piano.RESONANCE Another example is 51 found in the human voice. the pianodampers strings. One of the main objects of voice-training 1 is to secure. fairly loudly. off the strings having been stretched to that definite degree of taut- ness that will enable them to produce a certain definite number when of vibrations per second. if used as an organ-pipe. would produce a note somewhere between tenor C and middle C (c and c). a result the strings corresponding to whichever note you sing will at once begin to vibrate in sympathy. ' ' Most people 1 at all events those old enough to recall a time Each experimenter must. acted on by a hammer. naturally.

and tell a small child effect and as the to set if swinging. If you alter the vibration-rate of the second fork by attaching a pellet of wax even to the small extent of making its frequency 262 instead of 264 it will fail to sympathize. on the G string. (c] up or down i. (d\ If Tune the two lowest strings of a violoncello in unison. bent into A-shape. Almost as soon as the C string . and you damp the C string the instrument continues to produce the same note quietly.52 RESONANCE the electric light when was not common will have noticed a practical example of this kind of resonance. an illustration of what is called cumulative impetus. note of definite pitch is the result. hold out). If only we place a very heavy weight in a swing. by altering the rate of vibration mounted on soundingin Take two tuning-forks .vibrations have to produce body at rest by continually hammering at it. e. vibrating. In all such experiments it is necessary to wait a little for sympathetic vibration. When the instrument is if lying flat it is interesting to place a small piece of paper. and his feat silent strength and patience like that of the air-vibrations on the swing (if his fork. the child may say he cannot move it but he can move it by the smallest fraction of an inch he can it . vibration in a The air. of a single such vibration is almost nothing it is the accumulated effect that tells in the long run. when the vibration of a gas-flame happens to coincide with the note proper to the glass tube or globe around it. and you will motion and place Gradually the silent one will begin hear its note after you have damped set one of them the original fork into silence. ultimately get it into full is. you then pluck the C string fairly sharply it is quite easy to see with the naked eye its neighbour agitating itself. (preferably boards) in exact unison it near the one at rest. owing to the vibrations communicated to the string that was not plucked. and A shrill and unpleasant turning we destroy it by the gas either of the flame.

stretch four violin -strings to their usual tension. without using any enclosed chamber but in neither case could we. leaving the bare action and the iron frame with the strings attached or . To enable us to do this with certainty Helmholtz invented a device called a Resonator. .RESONANCE is 53 plucked the paper will jump off the G string. produce any sound of the slightest . musical value. it will lie peacefully at rest on either of the two top From (1) the above and similar experiments the two following : laws are formulated Maximum resonance results . The immense Resonance will practical importance of the principles of be realized by ajiy one who considers the fact instruments are merely ingenious ways of securing sympathetic vibration. whether one particular note is present. and is for small. These are spherical and hollow globes of metal or glass with two holes. In a later chapter the methods and differences of instruments are inquired into in detail. might remove all the wood-work from a piano. (2) Resonance does not occur in such cases immediately. when we are listening to a collection of sounds. when when the two bodies conthe sound proper to each of them has exactly the same vibration-number. e. In making experiments we sometimes require to know. cerned are in exact unison i. We we might by means of pulleys and weights. but that all musical may be pointed out here that even in such well-known instruments as the piano and violin the tone is due entirely to it the reinforcement secured by sounding-boards and belly. and shaped to fit the ear . in the absence of the means of reinforcement. since a short period is required by the original vibrating body the air-vibrations caused by it) in which to excite the (or sympathetic vibration of another body by cumulative impetus. One hole is the other is larger. one at either end of a diameter. whereas strings.

If the note not present nothing will if it happen.54 RESONANCE collecting the vibrations of the air corresponding to the note of the resonator (see fig. It must be noticed that is in the case . If you are listening to a collection of sounds certain and wish to know is for whether middle you take and FIG. and do not have to wait until the metal or glass is in a state of vibration. close the other ear with is your hand. 17 present. insert the small end in one ear. . of resonators the sym- pathy practically immediate for the vibrations already in the air act at once on the air enclosed. 1 7). the resonator tuned for that C note. but should prove to be there the resonator will soon vibrate so vehemently that scarcely anything but that one note can be heard.

25) the six methods resorted to for the purpose of producing periodic vibration. from which the pipe it is The one rate which. channel (the mouthpiece).J& direction of the advancing column. (6) Bells (solid percussion instruments). When . by virtue of its length. it lip ') placed in such a manner as to disturb the unity and ' A column forced through a narrow strikes an edge of metal (the FIQ. . Drums (percussion instruments with membranes). (i) Flue-pipes. (4) (5) The voice (a form of reed). construction of the penny-whistle. prophesy the pitch to reinforce. the sound. These methods will now be considered with regard to the actual process tions by which each of them For this originates the air-vibra- which result in the various types of tone at the disposal of musicians. qualified the holes in the pipe are closed by we can.PART IV. Everyone knows of air is the. begins to vibrate at selects the many all agitated air then different rates. QUALITY IX CHAPTER TYPES OF MUSICAL TONE IN an earlier chapter we described (p. Reed instruments. (2) (3) Stringed instruments. purpose we can consider the six : classes of instruments as being (1) Flue-pipes. knowing the pipe-length and the velocity of fingers and when the hole nearest.

N. 19).100 feet per second) by twice the The number of _. . FIG.TYPES OF MUSICAL TONE open end is freed by lifting a finger we merely have to deal with a pipe of shorter length.e. In order that it upright the mouthpiece '. shall ' stand through is in line placed with the horizontal diameter of the tube is ' . That is to say.B. wood under any we may consider ordinary rise of temperature of air-expansion. a pennywhistle in a vertical position. but not enough to counteract the effect . 19 point the student may accept the statement that if the open pipe in in length. its note fig. Then the velocity of sound increases. expansion of is the pipe-length as constant negligible metal expands more. The pitch of afliie-pipe sharpens as the temperatiire rises. its pitch must sharpen) as the temperature rises. The at this this will be discussed later . as its vibration -number. feet in reasons for the length of the pipe. velocity of sound Consequently the fraction twice pipe-length must (if the pipe-length remains unaltered) grow greater as the numerator increases. e. lessens its density. I 100 For stopped pipes we divide by four times the length. vibration-fraction of the note produced by an open pipe is found by dividing the velocity of sound (say 1. 19 is 4 feet will have. in principle. but the air to the ' lip directed through a narrow' slit on in exactly the same way (fig. The flue-pipe of an organ is simply. which the column of air is to be forced. the number of vibrations per second produced by the pipe must increase As the (i. . A rise in temperature expands the air i.

c measured as so long from right to left. in which the is particles oscillate in the direction in which the vibration travelling. scientists Its ends (called by a stationary vibra. . nature as the swing of a skipping-rope. and starts trying to . 20) then a skipping-rope turned rapidly by them will present to \ \ / / you the appearance of the loop which is a vibration-form with fixed BC.TYPES OF MUSICAL TONE (2) 57 Strings may be made to vibrate in three ways : by bowing (violin). guitar-string is plucked away from its position of rest. This should be clear if you imagine a piece of ribbon for it tied to will clearly travel in a circle to in the any point of the rope and from you.(piano). is something of two dimensions in one plane. A stretched string vibrates between the fixed ends is same way. A Transverse vibrations obey the laws of pendulum motion. or plucking (guitar). striking. so high from top But the actual particles forming the rope are to bottom. If you place two people (B and C) at equal distances from yourself (A) and a few feet away from each other so that the three of you form an isosceles triangle / with yourself at the vertex (fig. and particles vibra- tions are called transverse vibrations because the really movement moving at made by right angles to the string-length. immediately it is regain that position and unless a second time it must succeed in doing so. since the bow-pressure. and can be form. its .B tn tion). describing paths in a series of planes at right angles to the plane of the figure which you see. and consequent decrease of intensity. This name distinguishes them in character from longitudinal vibrations (such as those of the air). This plucked gradual diminution of amplitude. to ^. is avoided in the violin. When a stretched string is excited into a state of vibration it the fixed ends appears to become much thicker towards the middle than at and this is because its swing is of the same . your eye.

B. and the (d) The vibration-number varies vibration-number of the note it gives will be half that of the usual note. has been cut. N. that is. regulates the which can be increased or decreased amplitude of vibration.58 TYPES OF MUSICAL TONE at will. higher. Use a string of four times the usual density. g.g. E. Double the length of string and you will halve the vibration -number . (3) Reed Instruments. of E. 21 we have an oblong strip of wood oblong (E F G H) (ABC D). the resulting note will be The vibration-number varies an octave lower. E. \(t] its density. or thick material In fig. Stringed instruments fall in rises. (c] The vibration-number root of the tension. fiitch when the temis perature The increase in the velocity of sound more than counterbalanced by the fact that strings expand with heat and consequently lose their tension. (c] its tension. If we out of which a smaller cut a piece of elastic . g. the resulting note will be an octave . inversely as the square root of the density. Screw the string four times as tight and you double the vibration-number. (b] The vibration-number varies inversely as the diameter. Four considerations govern the pitch of a stretched string its : length. The (a) effects : of these four factors are expressed in the following four laws inversely as the length the string. g. varies directly as the square E. (b] its diameter. Halve the diameter and you will double the vibration number that is.

is however. air of i. we have an i. off the passage of air through the opening air. increased. lines. which is the reed' itself. the wind lines blown will laterally in the direction of the FE and GH. each concerned with one of the three is ' essential qualities of a (1) sound : By by selecting a metal of the required elasticity. regulating the tightness of the screw. 21 movement of the passage. and then the same process frequency depends on will repeat itself. e. within limits. control the quality. cut so that it will just pass through the passage. we . i.TYPES OF MUSICAL TONE metal to a size a 59 little longer than E F and slightly broader than EH. the dis(2) By regulating the force of wind we can alter placement of the tongue which means the amplitude of (3) its swing . and then screw it at K over the opening EFGH. When the tongue of metal. instead it of from insinuate above on to those itself between the metal and the wood. but will rather close more tightly in proportion as the force of the is wind If. we ' can reinforce the can. we can control the intensity. strip that quickness of blocks the ' This its an example of a beating reed. is.e. But the elasticity of the strip will its cause it to rebound into original position and cut . e. and we can control action in three ways. we can secure vibrations in the any given rapidity . causing a series of puffs in the the whose FIG. By the application of pipes or chambers containing columns of air of varying shapes and dimensions corresponding to the pitch chosen tone . and pass through the opening. we can control the pitch. we can so cover that opening that wind blown from above on the passage to the metal strip will not pass through. lift the strip. and by altering the length of the tongue.

Elastic membranes. types of tone. produce notes whose frequency is and the vibracontrolled by the tension of the membrane Little last .B. such as bells. . The oboe and bassoon are double-reeds. In the case of the the expansion of the metal causing a loss of elasticity (and consequent diminution of rate of vibration) which more than counterbalances the increased velocity of sound. But in all the above instruments the pitch is governed by the length of the pipe attached. need be said of the two tions of elastic solid bodies.60 TYPES OF MUSICAL TONE ' ' example of a is elevated. instead of having to repeat its swing through the opening. because in them the vibrations are between two reeds so placed that their edges meet just as children often force air between two sheets of paper or two pages of a book. The clarinet is a beating reed. as before. N. controls the pitch. let another puff pass. being cut off One puff will pass when the reed when the reed rebounds to its normal position . Many orchestral instruments are played by means of reeds. free reed. such as drums. caused by forcing air In the case of brass instruments played with a cup-shaped mouthpiece the player's lips form the reed and the brass tube. and regain its position of rest. since the vibrations are made by forcing air between a thin wooden reed and a fixed mouth- piece with an opening smaller than the reed. double-reed. lead to intricate and baffling questions which are the special work of campanologists. will continue its but then the reed. action. Metal reeds willflatten when the temperature rises. human voice the vocal cords form a and their tension governs the pitch.

.. . . 2. I. ARITHMETICAL PROGRESSION. when each term differs from its predecessor by the : same amount The (1) (2) following are three series i. ' groups of numbers arranged The is technical name for these groups logical is ' Series . P. advanced has to deal.. 12.4. 121. A very small amount all of algebraical knowledge will make such questions easy. would be possible however bad ' mathematics a person may be. Harmonic. whose first two terms are 57.6.8. he will probably be able to say what would be the tenth term in any of the three progressions given. for. reader All the above are Arithmetical Progressions. with in certain orders.6.5.. 2. 4.. be in A series of terms is said to A. and a Series ' never a haphazard collection of intentional numbers (or terms '). it early stages mathematics deals with definite numbers known and unknown but as it becomes more . The three simplest forms of series are known as the Arith- metical. but always an and arrangement according to some avowed plan. and Geometrical Progressions. r If all series to at work out most ' were as simple as the above questions in one's head it . P.3. to an ever increasing extent. and every w ill know what is the seventh term in each case.' /xix / l\ jfj* J" CHAPTER X ON MATHEMATICAL PROGRESSIONS IN its and quantities.. But not every one would give off-hand the tenth term of the A.. 10.

. Thus. (a + 2d). and its inversion 1C IS JQ. if we wish to invert 10. 121. 1 1 . is simply a series which. . 8. Treating these as an A.. when every term is iAn becomes an A.. ih expressed algebraically by saying that the n term (n merely means any number you like to say) of an A. P. 57 + (9x64). P.62 If ON MATHEMATICAL PROGRESSIONS we call the first term of an A.j i H. the tenth term must be (# + 9</). easy mental arithmetic at Any reader who can do familiar with A. and is is always a + (n i) d. (a + &). is Thus the tenth term of the series beginning 57. nverted. a. That fifth is to say. and the common difference between the terms d (the common difference is obtained by subtracting any term from the next following). 5. E. HARMONIC PROGRESSION.first term of such a progression r \j the two terms. \ . P. by setting himself easy problems can become odd moments. may always be treated as a fraction whose denominator is i. g. ? 3)= 50. II. P. the twentyso on. What is the seventeenth term The answer is : of the series 2. P. (a + d). term (a This fact + 24^). we must invert we can get .. P. we call it \-.. . is When out a fraction in discussing Variation turned upside-down it is as was pointed inverted and a whole number . The / \ following two series are Harmonic Progressions i : \ 2) ^ 1111 T? TT5 5> 8> 72 th j * J To discover the . it will be seen that : all arithmetical progressions take the following form a.

i x 2 8 and this will prove to be a number familiar to students of Acoustics as the Philosophic 256. Pitch of middle C. 4. is P. P. GEOMETRICAL PROGRESSION. P. III. of course.. tried. 3*1 1 1 This becomes the A. = a xf n ~ P.54..32. l ./ X 3 ON MATHEMATICAL PROGRESSIONS I 63 the first term and the common difference P. (a and d] from which we find the n ih term of the A. e. P.6. (2) 2. (f): : The two (1) following series form Geometrical Progressions i. Invert this term. differ through the continual multiplication by a given number and this latter . Find the ninth term of the following G. 2. 8. (/= 2). : 2. 8. series inverted -|. The ninth term of this Therefore the ninth +(8 x 3) = 26. The third term = 2/ 2 (2 x 3* = 18). . The fourth term = 2/ 3 (2 x 3 3 = 54). term of the H.(/=3) Examining (2) we find that The first term = 2 The second term = 2^(2 x 3 = 6). far more difficult to work out problems in G. From this it is easy to see that the tenth term a fact which is will be (2 x 3). mentally than those in A. 4. and E. but easy ones should be E. A... 5. The It is absolutely essential that the student who wishes to .. g. is called the common factor 16. ninth term must be of* i. Find the ninth term of the H. expressed algebraically by saying that the #th term It is. P.. P... ib you have the n term of the H.18. is $. differ Just as the terms in an by the continual addition of a given number. . P. . so the terms in a G. . .. 8. P. 2 2. g. i.

should mind a clear and distinct conception of the funda- grasp the elementary nothing of the have in his mental characteristics of the three Progressions explained above. or apply to some more If they still learned friend for their elucidation . present any difficulties to his mind he must either wrestle further with them. for his whole grasp of the foundations and structure of Acoustics from this point onwards depends on his apprehension of the principles under- lying these three Series.64 ON MATHEMATICAL PROGRESSIONS facts of the Harmonic Chord. . to say more difficult question of Temperament.

CHAPTER
UP
to this point

XI

PARTIAL TONES
.

we have

treated musical sounds as
isolated
'

if

each

one were

a

simple,

self-contained,

phenomenon.

When,

for instance, the note

known

as

middle

C

'

has been

(though the assumption has not affected the truth of any conclusion arrived at) that when a sounding-body vibrated at a certain pace the resulting
mentioned,
vibrations communicated to the air

we have assumed

would give us the sound

ofrniddle
It is,

C

and nothing

else.

indeed, possible to produce such a pure musical sound,
this is

and when
that
it is

done we
'

call
'

it

a 'simple

'

sound, and say

produced by simple the colours which meet the eye in the course of a day are due to light of one kind only, the great majority being due to combinations of many kinds of light, so almost every sound

vibrations.

But just as few of

we

hear, of whatever pitch

and

quality,

is

in reality a

combina-

tion of simple tones of different pitches, manipulated by the ear so as to give the impression of a single sound. The above statement does not refer (like Browning's star ')
'

to the combinations of sounds produced

by

different bodies,
;

by a body capable of producing simultaneous sounds but to something more subtle than the mere ability of the mind
or
listening to

apprehend a chord. It means that when we are apparently one single sound of definite pitch, such as a single note struck on the piano, we are almost invariably in reality
to

listening to a combination of sounds of different pitches

which

sum themselves up into one resultant sound. If we strike B flat or C sharp on the piano we think, until we know better, that we hear the sound of the particular note struck, and no

66
other sound
;

PARTIAL TONES
but a very
little

ear-training will soon convince the most sceptical that the one note apparently heard in isolation is only part of wTiatTls audible, and that various

other sounds of a higher pitch are included in Almost every one, when confronted for the
the above statement of
Until convinced
fact,
is

it.

first

time with
its

inclined to doubt

truth.
it

by

practical illustration

he

will

look on

as

an ingenious theoretical hypothesis, since no one willingly admits that he has, for a life-time, been deceived by the
evidence of one of his
at
this

own

point,

make

a

Such a person should, of continually going to a practice
senses.

piano and striking (firmly and loudly) the note
listening to
it with concentrated and patient attention, with the one idea of detecting other sounds than C. Sooner or later will inevitably come the moment when the sound of (g),

G

the twelfth above,
will

fills

his ears with such persistence that

it

seem incredible

that

up

to then the note

was unnoticed.

is merely a matter of industry. The ordinary musical sound, then, is not a pure or simple tone, but a complex sound, compounded of a series of notes

After this

moment

the recognition of other sounds

of different pitch each of which, when we isolate it (by 1 TJtiis__ resonators, &c.), proves to be in itself a pure tone. rtnnf>g nr series consists of a fundamental note plus its fiYf
i

harmonics
later, that

;

but

it is

essential, for reasons

which

will
'

appear
'

the student should not use the terms
'

overtones

and
said

'

harmonics

except as group-names convenient in con-

versation.

jo

In all acoustical investigation the whole series is consist of Partial Tones, the fundamental note (or

1 It is sometimes stated that Helmholtz called such a compound sound a Klang, and the corresponding English word Clang has come into use for the same purpose. But as a matter of fact this is not true. Helmholtz distinguished Klang (= musical sound) from Gerausch ( = noise)

[Tonempfindungen,

p. 14]

and

later

on uses Klangfarbe

for Quality.

PARTIAL TONES
Prime Tone) beingjerinedj;he_FJist the Second Partial, and so on.
In
fig.

67

Partial,

theJkstjQYgrtone

22

we have
tones

a chord of eight notes, sometimes called
first

the

Harmonic Chord, which gives us the
partial

eight

of the note C.

The

forming an elementary arithmetical progression from i to 8, give

numbers

at the side,

us at once the
partial tone.

number
(e') is

of the particular
fifth partial,

V ib.

E

the
is

B

flat

FIG. 22.

not in tune) is the seventh partial. The numbers also disclose another important fact for, it we take the geometrical progression i, 2, 4, 8, &c., we find
(which,
it

may be

noted,

;

that the partials corresponding to these numbers are always C and we might guess that if we explored amongst still
;

only the lowest part of the harmonic chord, which goes on upwards to the very limits of audibility) we should find that all the terms of this geometrical

higher partials

(for fig.

22

is

progression would be the numbers of partials representing C.

This guess would prove to be
octave higher than the
last.

right, for the sixteenth, thirty-

second, sixty -fourth, &c., partials are

C

also,

each

C

being an

Thus, if you have to construct a table of partial tones from a given note B flat, the first partial is the note given, the second is an octave higher, the next octave is the fourth, the
next the eighth, and so on.
third partial,
its

And

progression applies to all partials
octave
is

the same law of geometrical for in fig. 22 (g) is the
;

G

the sixth, the next octave will be the twelfth, the next the twenty-fourth, &c. And since the fifth partial is E (e'), the tenth, twentieth, fortieth, will all

prove to be E.

The Harmonic Chord

of

fig.

22 also enables us, by the

application of the progressions, to find the vibration-number of any partial if the frequency of the prime tone is known.

For the vibration- number of the third
that of the

partial
is

is

three times

prime tone

;

that of the seventh

seven times that

E

2

j &- frequency of the upper note is 330 (i. 22 as 66. 22. fourth. . 66 X4). fig. 22 is the fraction partials. we seconds and sevenths can find the fractions belonging to major and minor we can compile a list covering the octave. sixth. 66 x 5) . find. = 88. then the vibration-number of /. the fifth partial. e. we know one note has a frequency of 200 and another has 150. the vibration-frac- major and minor fifth. given the vibration -number of the prime tone of fig. from fig. that of a major sixth is f In this tion of way we can octave. major and minor unison. and we know that the to find the vibration-fraction of a major third.68 PARTIAL TONES of the prime tone. Thus. 22 discover the vibration -fraction of \ . then interval. 22 there is a major third |(4j ./^ 'A vibration-fraction is a modulus which enables us if to find the that of the /vibration-number of one note of an interval other. formed by the numbers belonging to each note as Thus the vibration-fraction of a minor third is f . ^then the vibration-fraction of the interval they form is If TTo If 200 4 we were told that two other notes formed the same the vibration-number of the lower note was 66. . is 66x5 = we can 330. Again. If third.e. that of the lower note 264 (i. from intervals. So the vibration-fraction is ff f. and we know the frequency of the higher note is 66xfr Suppose we wish In fig. = The sum worked fraction of the interval out merely proves that the vibration between any two notes in fig.

(264) find the F (f) above it. omitting only the unnecessary tritone. 264x1 The = 352. g' above it (396). (352).fractions within the octave. by means of the f . Second. forms a minor Therefore the vibration -fraction of a minor second is ffl = iflist We can now give a complete of the vibration. the major seventh below it.PARTIAL TONES and these four of a little 69 intervals can be found quite easily by means ordinary arithmetic. We know the frequency of the sixth times that of the prime tone. therefore the B (b'). We know frequency of the vibration-fraction of a major third is f .6 Major The same f second. with the Second. 198. and 66 partial. will give us the vibrationfraction of a major seventh : Now 495 15 8 ' ( Minor From middle C vibration-fraction of the fourth. G (g) below this f having a frequency 198" 9 ' we get the vibration-fraction of a minor seventh as 352 _ J. forms a major is Therefore the vibration-fraction of a major second 396 9 _ ~35~2 8- Minor The same f second.|with the e' below it (330). for it is six x 6 = 396. G (g'). divided by the frequency of f middle C (c ). Seventh. (352). Major Seventh. the frequency of this note b'. is 396x^ = 495. . the major third above the sixth partial.

6 Fifth =2 =V = V=| =| Fourth Ma. although the F sharp strings were perfectly free. strike several times.B. 2 if i Unison N. But if you place a finger on the for A G string. When piece the C string is plucked nothing happens. the gth partial is d" and b". 22. which aroused the sympathetic vibration of the g strings. the paper will fly off the string as any partial . 7 Mi. the prime tone of fig. and the more believed roborated by simple experiments. 3 = = =f = = = | 6=f Ma. 22 is extended. But try the same experiment again. Students are strongly urged not to attempt to commit the If it is borne in mind that. 2 Mi. . truth is cor- Put down the note without allowing it F sharp I <)' on the piano. bottom C. when the fig. above table to memory. to sound. The facts dealt with in this chapter will be the better in. 7 Mi. roundabout methods just employed for finding the Harmonic Chord of the 1 5th is The more fractions of sevenths and seconds were used in order to show how such problems can be solved when the facts given are limited. reducing its length to that required tone of C. if their remembered. similar test may be made by placing a small A -shaped of paper on the G string of a 'cello as it lies flat. and you will find the note g sounding which means that there was a note of the same pitch sharp). When the C strings have been damped the result is silence.70 PARTIAL TONES Octave Ma. holding g (the semitone above the loudly . Then sharply and loudly. and secondly the E natural (e') above the g already tested and the note which is a partial tone to C will be the one to vibrate in sympathy. 3 Mi. F already present in the C sound. The same experiment may be tried with firstly the E flat. Ma. then any fraction can be instantly called to mind.

and its partials. of this kind were constructed in which care were taken to produce it pure tones only. in any way changing its pitch or quality) seems to assimilate itself to the sound of F sharp in much the same way as the sound of a triangle assimilates itself to any note played with it. the well-known organ-builder. that. to coalesce into one note instead of a chord. the ten lowest partials are sounding (i. When In this cannot be carried very soft. An ingenious instrument has been built by Mr. of course. though are of comparatively the same strength. but as other partials in G are added the sound of the chord gradually vanishes. the whole being transposed. 22. If. up to the twenty-fifth. e. quite soft by itself the result is one enormous low G of the unmistakable quality of a trombone. the relative length of strings and pipes. on which some experiments can be made with partial tones. the is supplied by the Harmonic Chord of fig. for instance. other conditions being equal. and partly because If an organ each of them has a series of partial tones of its own. the eight of fig. partly because all the partials. The same facts are established as in the previous experiment. 2 2 with d" and e" added. A curious phenomenon can be remarked on this instrument. shortening the length of . instrument experiments. since the prime tone of this particular instrument is not C but G) they seem. to establish a good many conclusions as to the nature would be possible and effects of overtones. When all twenty-five partials are sounding together each. whilst the prime tone advances into the foreground with ever-increasing volume. A prime note (low G) is produced by a soft bourdon pipe. far. can be sounded any combination desired (by wedging down the notes) on soft dulciana pipes.PARTIAL TONES soon as the 71 C string is sharply plucked. There which is one more group of important facts. but the G (without. Up to this point we have been content with the knowledge key to namely . be it remembered. the i5th partial (in this case F sharp) is sounded with the prime note G the result gives no impression whatever of a major seventh. And this one note forms a perfectly satisfactory bass for any of the other notes which are sounded with it. Rothwell. When the five lowest partials are sounded the result is simply a soft and pleasant chord of major . though extremely interesting. for the first time. and to regulate their intensity.

but the length of string of the upper note is Length of string of lower note x f . Vibration-fractions are used. is roughly 8 feet. exactly as in finding frequencies. with the . A table is appended of the first ten partials of C. qualitative without being quantitative. for the most part. (2 x |) feet is 2 feet = which means that the finger must stop the string at a point two-thirds of its length from the nut. If the A string of a 'cello E (e").72 PARTIAL TONES a string or pipe raised the pitch of the note resulting from it. the | feet ninth partial. and have not asked whether any definite relationship could be established between the length and the pitch. The relationship we are seeking for is found by the appliIf cation of harmonic progression to the series of partials. the length required for d". the prime tone of 22. The vibration-fraction of a major sixth is f. suppose we are given the interval |flU Q together with the vibration -number and length of string of the G. for treble long. is 8 inches. in solving problems. will be = io inches. . and are asked to find vibration-number and length of string of the E. Our knowledge has been. always remembering that in harmonic progression the terms of a series are inverted. then the length required the third partial. and one-third from the ' ' bridge. x its fifteenth. of pipe required for bottom C. then the length required to produce partial is x . and so the vibration-number of the upper note is Vibration-number of lower note x |. and so on. Thus the o o length fig. we know that the any given note its fifth is length of string or pipe required to produce x feet. For instance.

your modulus is ^j. . we measure the given pipe and multiply it by the moduhis f '. TABLE OF THE FIRST 10 PARTIAL TONES.PARTIAL TONES 73 elementary arithmetical and harmonic progressions necessary for ascertaining frequencies and string. . e. If a vibration-system is producing C and we wish it to produce e" we must multiply its frequency by the factor 10 : i. 10 is our modulus. if a pipe of a given length gives the note e* and we wish to know what length of pipe will produce c". WITH FREQUENCYMODULUS AND STRING (OR PIPE) LENGTH-MODULUS. if in terms of sovereigns.or pipe-lengths. your modulus is \i. l Modulus Partials of Modulus 1 for C Rank of Partial for obtaining obtaining String Frequency and Pipe length loth 9th 8th 7th 6th 5th 4th 3rd 2nd ist (Prime Tone) 1 A modulus is a constant factor by which we can change a thing from one system to another : ifyou want to express so many shillings in terms of pence.

f of E = = = 5 260 xf = 3 12 - Fourier's Theorem establishes the fact that. however combe. we have a minor sixth and wish to reduce . But if it is the vibration-fraction of a fifth that we want. a perfect fifth. J. find the frequency which lies between them. on the keyboard.and f Vibration-fraction of minor third = f -=-f . frequency of E flat frequency of A flat -f. Xf Again. it plex the wave-curve of a periodic vibration may can always be resolved into a number of simple wave-curves .74 It will readily PARTIAL TONES be seen that the use of vibration-fractions forces us to use multiplication and division in the addition and subtraction of intervals where. Given fraction of a fourth and major the frequency of a note as 60. minor third makes. musicians Thus a major third added to a merely add or subtract. what is the frequency ? of the major sixth from the given note Fourth * + = vibration-fraction of major sixth = Required frequency = 60 x f = 100. flat frequency 312. and the vibrationthird as f and f . we must multiply (and not add) the vibration-fraction of the major and minor thirds : v fX 5 6 5 _ 6 _ 3 2' Example. We could have reached the same result in a shorter way by saying that since E flat is a fourth below A flat. = of the E flat .fractions of the intervals instead of subtracting.s A 4 v3 5 Example. but in dealing we must divide Given C = 260 and A flat 416. it to a minor third. if major third = major sixth. we subtract a perfect fourth with the vibration. _ ~ 6. as every musician knows. the vibration-fractions of a perfect fourth and minor sixth being f.

. tone modified by consist of series of partials. will Fourier's be present. Theorem does not imply that all of the series compound tone may consist.PARTIAL TONES selected from 75 a series whose lengths form the harmonic .).. and may include the whole A . f. . . resolved into a 5.i6 seq. $. 4. 3. progression i. say. is The true application of curves to vibrations dealt with later (c. N. 4.B. &c. 2. need only consider the meaning of Fourier's Theorem as applied to sounds Any musical sound which is not a simple tone can be at this point the student : and number of simple tones selected from a series whose vibration -numbers are in the proportion i. of a prime But a compound sound must its sixth partial. at least two simple tones. &c..

the answer is belonging to middle C is instrument makes it's own selection and varies the relative v of those chosen. : sound that accounts We may state this fact as follows Two (1) clangs of the same pitch must select their partials from the same series. And it is this variation ' ' yes as far as the series of partials concerned. no in so far as each ' ' intensity in the precisely number and intensity of the partials present in a given for differences of timbre or quality. having no partials. and experiment proves to be the case. can only this differ in pitch and intensity . suggests the question whether these partials are always present in exactly the same degree. When we hear middle C played first on a trumpet and then on a violin : we know that the two in common their frequency is the same. The corollary to the above statement must obviously be that pure tones. series (2) being absent in either or both sounds through the different intensities of the various .CHAPTER TIMBRE XII THE fact that the sounds we hear are seldom simple tones. their vibrations travel through the air at the same pace. should the selection happen to be identical (3) through variation both in selection and relative intensity. But if we ask whether the two sounds are composed of the sounds have certain things same partials. constructed to vibrate only when excited by . it is A resonator. partials. but are almost invariably composite sounds (or clangs) composed of a number of partial tones each in itself simple. but may differ in timbre : through selecting different partials some of the .

a3 : Before considering fig. the moment at that and (2) moment silence occurs. take the shape of the double where a and the nodes. nevertheless any point on the string is actually will never touch or describing a circle. again. an examination of them forms a good introduction to the more intricate questions which arise later. Tuning-forks. it immediately vibrates. between rest. and they are almost exactly alike. The movement we are considering is only the movement of the string. Thus the string pass through its it comes when position of rest ab until ceases to vibrate at all. And since the vibrations of a string (especially of a large string vibrating with considerable A vibrating string amplitude) are easily visible to the naked eye. to are called Nodes. produce tones which are very nearly pure. the eye. its two and these fixed ends. The cooing of a dove. generates all the partial tones but the of recognizing as in all clangs a limited only capable number of the lower ones. It must be kept mind from any idea of the movement which takes place quite distinct in the .TIMBRE the air-vibrations corresponding to tone. or the soft oo sound of a ' ' well-trained choir-boy. If you twitch the C string of a fixed ends '-cello with some violence. the dotted ab the position of rest ot FIG. and it is produces a simple impossible to distinguish between resonators in the matter of individual quality. and the dotted line cd the amplitude of the vibration. or points of will. the string. 23. This vibration curve of b are line fig. its 77 pitch. like a skipping-rope. reminded of two facts 23 any further the student must be view the string looks like from a sideways (1) Although fig. 23. are about as near pure tones as we can get in ordinary ear is life. . .

is at first so difficult that many students abandon all attempts at FIG. a pure But in is 1 tone. &c. 4th. partial tones of the note to which the string is tuned. 23. the position of nodes i. begin. The whole conception of a string vibrating in all these innumerable sections. six exactly front yiew will give us a picture of equal skipping ropes. simultaneously yet independently. That is to say. Let us suppose that seven people take up their positions in a straight line at equal distances from one another. &c.. 23. would be C. at the same instant and same pace. 24). and no partials would be reality the string. as illustrated in fig. A six exactly 'equal double curves ' (fig. 7. the pace of such new turning being half as fast as the original pace. 24 comprehending make it. then the sound resulting present. in addition to vibrating as . will result in a sound whose pitch is the prime tone of the note to which The the string is tuned. Instead of calling ' these seven agents people '. 5th. d . and by taking away the earth imagine the process to be going on in space. and then begin to turn. if the illustration represents the vibration of the C string of a 'cello. vibrations of a string. in fig.78 in the air as air TIMBRE a result of vibrations communicated to the by the string-. 3. 3rd. of a superior species b. 5. in appear and. Possibly the following explanation may the process a little less bewildering. and |. -|. to turn the two- Suddenly four nodes rope sections between each of them as a single skipping-rope. time. let us call them nodes '. c. taking addition to the movement already going on.. the vibrations of these sections are resulting in sounds corresponding to the 2nd. at the same vibrating in sections off. .

. producing the 2nd partial three equal parts adding two nodes which divide the string into . and the result. at one-sixth the original pace. two sections at one-third the original pace. It may be remarked here that normally the partials decrease i. the fact must be grasped that every string does vibrate (1) as a whole. 25 swing of the outline. could get a front view of the above performance we should see a rope vibrating.e. seizing the two ends. producing the 3rd &c. at the centre of the string . though mathematicians could express it as an equation. swing the rope as a whole. 25. can be imagined from fig. in spite of the four separate systems at work. 25 by They then swing the ropes in . in intensity as they rise in pitch as their distance from in the prime tone increases .TIMBRE The result. producing the prime tone of the string . If (2) in half sections. pied in fig. and though some special cases . C string of the 'cello. At this juncture three nodes of a still higher species arrive. &c. each comprising three of the original rope-lengths. if the swinging were as rapid as the d FIG. a further (2) in halves. at the 79 is moment when each swing at its highest point. (3) we in one-third sections. would look. (4) in one-sixth sections . with nodes at each extremity. partial . at the same time. (i) as a whole. with (3) in thirds. like 23 with a blurred Whether or no the above explanation helps the student to realize the motion of a string. and the resultant curve of these two similar sections cannot be suggested pictorially. node . Finally two giant nodes. and 4). fig. and take their places at the two ends and the middle point (occud.

In dealing with pipes a double curve one complete vibration in the air. Consequently the full understanding of the action of the air must be delayed until the Transmission of Vibrations is dealt But the actual influence of the pipe on the vibrations. but only (1) controls the rapidity. cause the air-vibrations. by the length of the column of air within it . 26 ACE represents the length of one vibration the being compressed in the half ABC. especially in the matters of wave-lengths and partials. e. The vibrations of pipes are vibrations in the air itself. In air fig. in vibrating strings. can be with. yet is TIMBRE we can say due to the prominence of certain higher that very high partials are practically Consequently. by its shape and structure. 26 . like a string. brought out by the analogy of the skipping-rope and its nodes. the amplitude of swing of the overtones soon becomes so small that its influence on the vibration as a whole may be ignored. rarefied in the half CDE. pipes open at both ends the one essential fact to be remembered is that the ends cannot Open pipes. (i. In open pipes i. places where the air is in a normal state) but . be nodes e. is used to represent FIG. which are therefore nodes. provided always that the student grasps the fact that the curves drawn in the illustrations do not actually occur in the pipes at all. and normal at the points A. (2) modifies the tone of the resultant sound. negligible. and E. An organ flue-pipe does not.8o quality of tone partials. C.

therefore. places where the air rarefaction). respectively. 26) is created. in a state of vibration is) : the same law holds as in the case of open pipes that the open . the Hence an open pipe can produce Harmonic Chord. 29 will clearly The vibrations illustrated in the above example have wave-lengths a half and a third as long. that node will be in the (fig. 81 is in e. maximum compression or The nodes When. 27 of the prime tone. FIG. the pipe. all the partial tones of Stopped Pipes. a state of in a skipping-rope are the two ends. 27 In this case the wave-length of the vibrations will be the greatest that the pipe is capable of producing and since it is clear from fig. 27). or essential condition filled. any number of nodes. 27 that only half a vibration (see fig. and these are the exact wave-lengths as that in fig.TIMBRE must be antinodes (i. at A stopped pipe ' is one which ' is stopped one end. is the prime tone of the pipe. the air in an always can middle of the pipe open pipe is vibrating as it with only one node. But an open pipe can also contain an air-wave with two. the antinode is the middle point where the amplitude of the swing is greatest. since the pipe cannot make the wave-length any greater. it follows that the wave-length is twice the length of . required for the second and third partials . provided only that the one is fulthat the two ends are antinodes three nodes Figs. 28 FIG. or three. And the note produced. the other end (where the When the column of air in the pipe lip is being open. 28 and 29 show a pipe with two and : respectively >cx:>c FIG.

be produced . X >C FIG. 30 there are FIG. Thus the fundamental note. when one node (fig. 30. since the curve in the pipe only represents one-quarter of the full curve representing a whole vibration (see fig. fig. 32) have formed themselves. we introduce three nodes and three antinodes. or prime tone. and 32 illustrate the vibration in three stopped pipes of equal dimensions (fig.82 TIMBRE end of the pipe cannot be a node. that the note of the third partial of the prime tone. and cannot be an antinode. will be one-third the completed wave-length of fig. And this means produced is that the vibration-number of the note being in fig. of a stopped pipe is the sound whose wave-length this is it four times the length of the pipe. 31. Figs. 30 the actual length of the vibrations will be four times as long as the pipe. The stopped end must be a node. 30. 31). 26). . 32. 26. three-quarters of the whole vibration -curve of This clearly represents a sound whose wave-length is one-third of the fundamental since the wave-length of fig. and will be the fifth partial. (i. but must be an antinode. since the air in is must have at least one node and one antinode. It will in fig. will have five times the frequency. the above description the student should grasp the important fact that whereas the air in an open pipe can vibrate From . and this is the next longest wave-length) will represented by the curve which is fig. 30). the next lowest note e. 31. . 31 Fia-32 as in fig. the resulting note will be one-fifth the wavelength of the prime tone. as in fig. two nodes air- and three nodes be seen that (fig. being produced in 30 : in other words. 31 Similarly when. 3 1 is three times as great as that of the note fig. 3 1 when completed. and the lowest note the pipe can produce. When two nodes and two antinodes.

practically the bottom note of an ordinary pedal. we should expect.e. giving the note C. if we can take the velocity of sound as 1. for conciseness. 5. it should be noticed. Consequently.100 feet per second. 7.TIMBRE in 83 segments in such a way that all the partials are present in the resulting. a stopped pipe can only produce a sound containing. Supposing an open pipe is 8 feet long. 3. as bearing on the character of the sounds produced by stopped pipes.. now obtain the note of an open or stopped pipe when once we know the exact length of it. No even partial introduces a new note. the number of vibrations of this note will be 16 We 4 This figure is..sound.. Written as formulae. Further. each being merely the octave above some other partial. that in the series of partials of the complete Harmonic Chord (1) (2) Every odd partial introduces a new note to the chord . but they are often not clear about the reason . and the vibration-number 34!.partials i. imagining vaguely that the sound travels n = number of vibrations. Had been i. of them. F 2 . 9 .Bourdon. indeed. we know the wavelength of its prime tone will be 16 feet. (i) for we get open pipes : n* = noo 2/ ' (2) for stopped pipes is : n = I 100 4/ fact that Every organist aware of the a stopped pipe gives a note an octave lower than an open pipe of the same many length. very close to the lowest C on the manuals of the organ a note which is often called as ' 8 foot C '. the pipe been stopped the wave-length would have 32.

finding exit barred. along nodal lines where at rest. the surface an ordinary open flue-pipe. The mouth forces a column of air against the lip of the flute. in a stopped pipe end of the pipe. at their centre. being that in an open pipe the node of the prime tone must it be in the middle. a physical laboratory where there is any acoustical apparatus. in the most patterns. has to make a double-journey by coming back. in If. scamper beautiful all and symmetrical is over the plate and finally settle down. that can be produced from rods. but it is practically only the prime tone and second partial that can be detected. But this is a thoroughly the real and quite simple fact unscientific misconception . according to its length or the system of nodes arranged by the fingers.. &c. when the vibration begins. The flute then chooses. he is specially advised to make some elementary experiments with Chladni's plates. The Clarinet is a pipe of uniform bore. plates.84 TIMBRE its along the pipe and.system (as arranged by the fingers) governs the rate of the vibrations of a beating reed. It is not properly a . are fixed into a vice by means of a short rod welded to on the edge and give quite a musical sound and if a fine sand they vibrate is sprinkled on the surface it will. and All the partials are possible. imtst be at the stopped The sounds . bells. are of interest and importance to physicists rather than and if the reader desires to inquire into them to musicians he will find details in any good book on Sound written from however. producing a is ' ' The Flute tangle of vibrations. which it is in sympathy. of square or circ^ilar shape. These consist of thin pieces of metal They them or glass. whose air-column or node. the particular vibration-rate with reinforces it. with smooth surface. he should ever find himself the scientific side. When a violin-bow ' ' plays .

played by means of cuplips act as reeds. The second partial is certainly absent. shaped mouthpieces in which the sounds containing all the partials lips produce and by manipulating the we can induce the tube to reinforce any one of the over- tones (within limits) instead of the fundamental note. and so provide us with an entirely new set of available overtones. 6 and 8. the pipe may be considered as acting in an irregular manner. . by increasing the length of the air-column. . The Oboe and Bassoon are open pipes their sounds comprise the of conical bore. and partials. The usual Brass Instruments. but 85 it is generally stated that it produces a sound the odd partials only. In many of them. and so must be considered comprising as acting like a stopped pipe. but as Helmholtz found distinct traces of Nos. lower the pitch of the prime tone. the whole of the ordinary fairly intensity of which decreases regularly as the series ascends.TIMBRE stopped pipe. and exceedingly difficult to sound the fundamental note at all. Pistons. indeed such as the Bugle it is quite easy to produce an overtone.

TEMPERAMENT XIII CHAPTER WHEN ' ON THE TWELFTH ROOT OF TWO 4 you multiply a number by itself you are said to square it. . then the original number is cubed or raised to the power of three. Fractional indices. really stand for something quite easy to grasp. These (i) If let facts fall into three groups : take any number with any index for simplicity us say 3 2 and multiply it by itself (3 2 x 3 2 ). ' ' ' ' . however. or to raise it to the power of two and if you multiply the result by the original number. ' Two is cubed or ' ' Two is to the power of three '. ' '. Index (plural Indices] : so that in the expressions 2 8 and 3 9 the indices are 8 and 9. This is also true when the indices are the principal long as number is the same : . Almost every one has a working knowledge of the meaning of indices. so we found by adding the indices 3 2+2 = 3*.e. i. The number which number to be raised tells us to what power the principal called the . so long as they are whole numbers. but when they are fractions the non-mathematical mind is apt to be baffled. the answer is different.PART V. and it is essential that any one who aims at a full understanding of Temperament should not be puzzled by the elementary facts about them. Thus 9 may be written as 3^ which is read Three squared and 8 may be written 2 3 or Three to the power of two .

is Again. by itself: 8J x 8s Similarly. . Thus the square root of 9 can be written as 92. 2^. by a*xa* (2) If = a x+v . Similarly. The algebraical is way of expressing saying that the above which is always true. fact. This ought to be clear to any one For to the power of one) is 9. \ \V The same^rule applies to the multiplication of numbers with fractional indices as to those with whole numbers. cube root df 8 which is 4). if Thus. =2 X 2 X 2.ON THE TWELFTH ROOT OF TWO That this fact 87 must always hold good will probably seem evident to any one who asks himself exactly what is meant 2 3 For by 2 x 2 . you wish to take the square root of a number you can show it by using the index |. we multiply 2^2 the twelfth root of 2 by . root of^: (3) 3 becomes^ the twelfth rooi\0f two. 25 Consequently 2 2 X2 3 = 2x2x2x2x2 = = 2 2+3 . if = 8 (i. the cube root of 2 can\oe written 2^. 22 2 3 = 2 x 2. if the cube root of 8 to be multiplied 2 . And if 92" x 9^ =9 obvious that 92 must be the square the fourth root of 9. the square root of 4 is to be multiplied by 1 itself : 4! x 42 = 42 + 1 = 4 = 4. itself : X 2 ~& = 2 A + T2 = 2 A = 2S The student should verify for himself the results in the : following table 1 The twelfth root of 2 is also written 12 V'2. 9 who x realizes that 9 (nine 1 = g = 95 it is =9 L 92. e.

the twelfth root of based) i has been twelve times multiplied by the result is 2 when the number 2 has : .statement (on which the whole structure of If the equal temperament is When the number 2. whereas in the column to the right the terms. &c.88 ON THE TWELFTH ROOT OF TWO 1 2i a raised to the power of 2 3 2* i = 2* = 21 4 5 = 2^ = 2? 7 = 8 = 2 9 = 10 = 2! n = sH 12 = 2 2*~ elementary theory of indices is understood up to this point no student should find it difficult to realize the truth of the following. 2. show a though increasing by exactly the same which are in Arithmetical .200 cents in an octave and 100 in a semitone (in equal temperament). gression i. In the column on the left of the signs of equality the terms increase The understanding by means of multiplication series of indices . there being 1. 8. 4. 1 6. amounts. of cents depends on the recognition of one outstanding fact in the table at the head of this page. been so multiplied twelve times it becomes 4 the number 4 so multiplied becomes 8 and the numbers reached after each process of twelve multiplications form the Geometrical Pro. &c. . For the sake of simplicity in working a method has been devised of measuring intervals by means of Cents..

T 2. means something different from what he appears to be saying. e. 1*2 ( : Similarly for the next semitone 1 log (21*2 x 2i 2) = log 2 = log 2 = 200 cents. he does not mean that the distance between C and C sharp can be called i oo cents and the distance between G and G sharp called the same for he knows quite well the two distances are different. If we then wished to find the number of cents in a semitone of equal temperament we can log (i X say 212) : = log i + log 21*2 = + ^2 log 2 = I2 cents) = 100 cents. of being able to use addition instead of the multiplication and division involved by the vibration-ratios shown on p. such that 1. in saying there are 100 cents in a semitone.ON THE TWELFTH ROOT OF TWO - 89 Progression ( T%. T 2. in dealing with intervals. greater simplicity. and G by [Readers who have any elementary knowledge of logarithms will have guessed how this substitution is effected. using the same multiplier in each case. : fuller explanation is afforded by the following extract from 1 Professor Barton's Text-book on Sound ' Since pitch depends upon frequency and interval upon ratio of Let it be result.200 cents corresponds to log 2. frequencies. But he means that. has led to this system of cents but the student is warned that the . . we have the following important 1 A Printed by kind permission of the author. The mathematician. since we can get C sharp and G sharp from C ' '. the increase is represented by addition. we can. 70. &c. That is to say. by thinking of indices and not multipliers. . use addition instead of multiplication.) 3 4 i. A convenient unit was chosen for the cent.

.. Ellis (the translator of Helmholtz's Sensations of Tone] has adopted as the unit for this logarithmic measure the cent.... Then. be Z.. beginning at the highest and proceeding in order of Also let the intervals be 7t between L and pitch..... late (5) For k any convenient number could be chosen. Hence the clue to reduction of any intervals to these logarithmic cents would be found in the following equations. Thus.. (8)'J .logN log 2 - .. (2) I = But by addition of so by (3) and (4) *log^=A(logZ-logAO and (2) . The name cent is used because 100 cents make the semitone of those instruments in which twelve equal semitones are the intervals occurring in an octave. M.200 of which make the octave... -.. 1. : (7) Whence by (6) ^-(7) /= log M... as is independent of it. M... if each be measured by k times the logarithm of the ratio of frequencies. J. let the frequencies of three notes. (5) (4) /=/T+/2 the relation desired .. A. Then the a number only measure possible is that of taking for each interval proportional to the logarithm of the ratio of the frequencies of the notes composing that interval..... 72 between interval and N... we have M -~ Af = k (log jff-log AO .. But the shows that Mr......90 ON THE TWELFTH ROOT OF TWO required to measure intervals so that the sum of the measures of component intervals shall be the measure of the resultant interval.. and N... and / between Z and N.. (3) (i) .. where Zis the interval in cents between notes of frequencies M and N: 1 (6) 200 = 1200 log 2 .

e. . the tempered chord is sounded. or ' and such an instrument Let us perfect intonation. 71 on also fitted with pipes produces one chord whose intonation is just and is which will give the same chord tuned in . we can. Such a passage is is ' called diatonic '. true '. in if we once fix on the pitch of one note. it is so manifestly out of tune that the listener can only wonder that can be found to tolerate it. 70. a short passage of music major key without any accidentals. after listening for some time to the pure chord. the key of C i. the usual way. by the table of vibration -fractions on p. and can be played on the piano or organ on the white notes alone. or to write.CHAPTER XIV EQUAL AND MEAN-TONE TEMPERAMENT IT in a quite easy to find. If. human beings . The organ mentioned A diatonic passage p. tune every using white note on a keyed instrument in perfect accordance with Now the rules there systematized to have 'just ' '. Then the vibration-numbers of the eight notes forming the major scale upwards from middle C will be as follows : Tonic 528 that is Leading note Superdominant Dominant 495 264 x 2 x ^5- 440 396 352 xf xf xf Subdominant Mediant Supertonic 330 297 x| x| Tonic 264 played on an instrument tuned in this an effect which is a revelation of smoothness to way produces any one hearing it for the first time. ' is said fix on middle C (c') as a note whose frequency is 264.

: Major second. They differ in the ratio 8_i_^8pj and this difference. D= If at (i. and the difference from negligible when we compare it these numbers with 85^. beautiful it when we begin modulating. then. f|>)is the Comma ofDidymus. is may seem in itself. ' ' Let us construct the first three notes of is a major scale whose tonic has a frequency of 64 (which philosophic pitch of C). called a as a fraction. from tonic to supgr- tonic to mediant. e. the latter a minor tone. The notes will be the E= 80 72 (i. for between 80 and 81 F has is far a frequency of 85 j. Comma expressed sometimes known as Major will third. In_a //^gLmajor. major third. 64 x |) 64 x |) C =64. though the greater^han thejnteryjd fromjmp_erlatter is also called a whole tone . however may be when used for diatonic music. 64 we know that E have for frequency 64 x f = . (i.scale. and the former is called a major tone. on that a keyed instrument.e. And its un workableness can be seen from an examination of three intervals the major second. any time we wish to modulate to the scale of D (and D minor would be a very natural modulation) we shall want a scale whose tonic and supertonic are E= D= Thus the 81 72. its If we start with C= 80.92 EQUAL AND MEAN-TONE TEMPERAMENT But a very little simple arithmetic is needed to convince us the tuning system suggested above is untenable. the interval tonic. however small one whole tone. 72 x |) E which we have tuned for the mediant of . and perfect fifth.e. C will not be in tune as the supertonic of D and though the difference of one vibration looks small on paper it would be very noticeable in practice.

8/2. G Now 1 if C= 28. . and this fraction is known as the Comma of Pythagoras. Perfect Fifth. not only by seven jumps of an octave lowest C to (multiplying the frequency by 2 at each jump). consequently. note with n vibrations we know that the note one 4/2. The difference between the two is notes. Similarly from sharp we get B sharp = 100 x f =125. called an Enharmonic Diesis. 2. Let us suppose the lowest C on the piano to have n vibra- tions. we the note seven octaves higher than our shall find its frequency to be 128/2. In this way the vibration-number of the top C will prove to be *X(|) Any that one who wilt trouble to work out this sum will find it gives an answer of nearly 13072: so that the two notes reached by pure tuning are not. If we take a.EQUAL AND MEAN-TONE TEMPERAMENT = 93 From E = 80 we can say with certainty that a true G sharp has a frequency of 80 x f 100. which. These two notes differ in the ratio 128:125. 472. (about) -|f . the other expressed as a vibration is 2 7 . one of them (the higher) twelve intervals of a ratio 12 : fifth seven intervals of an octave. and is this difference. C (the top note on the ^ evident. as they are on the piano. the and so on the various octaves having . yet we 64 the octave higher must have a frequency of find that three major thirds from C give us a note B sharp with a frequency of 125. and. i6n When we reach . on the piano. vibration-numbers which form the geometrical progression 72. but also by it is Now twelve jumps of a perfect fifth multiplying the frequency by f at each jump. that we can reach from the the highest. . expressed as a fraction i|f . . (f) : from a given note. octave above that ctave higher has in vibrations. the highest piano) to have a frequency of 128*2. identical. expressed as a fraction. original note.

On keyed of the keyboard is largely a history of the attempts of musicians to construct a feasible system by making compromises with the intractable laws of nature. a really good choir. however. the difficulties of construcand execution make it impossible even to consider such an enormous number of notes to the octave and the history tion . 33 in But should the harmony change. sopranos readjusting it so that the note which they began as the mediant of C they will leave as the supertonic of D : in fig. the ear of the performer slightly sharpening or flattening a note whenever a new tonality asserts itself. so as to (as 34). For instance. suggest the tonality of D minor the last bar.94 If EQUAL AND MEAN-TONE TEMPERAMENT we were to try and there have been many attempts to instrument on which we could play in keyed perfect tune in any key. we should find. that every octave would construct a such as the voice or violin nstruments with adjustable pitch can at once provide us with any of our eighty notes. by the most modest calculations. 33) with just intonation : FIG. Such compromises. would sing such a passage as the following (fig. then the would beyond question alter the pitch of the note E. FIG. accustomed to singing without accompaniment. 34 instruments. .

at reducing. and that the two whole tones comprising it were equidistant. and then making the one sound do the work of both notes. Any interval thus deliberately tuned contrary to the exact is vibration-fractions of just intonation a ' ' tempered interval . in the octave. Mean-tone Temperament. thereby sacrificing it in the unusual keys. Consequently it was thought better 1 to preserve pure intonation. surpass others in historical and practical rest importance. and any system of tuning which aims. by the use of tempered intervals. necessarily took the form of tampering with true intonation. It required twenty-seven notes to the octave. system (from which fact the system between the major tone derives name) and minor tone (see p. since modulation and transposition were both kept within very small limits. Mean-tone Temperament was devised in order that instruments with fixed notes might be tuned on a more practical system. a note chosen as tonic has a vibration-number n. generally by ' splitting* the difference ' between two notes whose frequencies differed by very little. Mean-tone Temperament and Equal Temperament. and the general principles on which they will now be described. expressed mathematically. is called a * Temperament all Two such systems. This means that essential fact of this its is The that the difference the true major third was retained. which sacrificed the perfect the accuracy of the major third in order to preserve that of fifth. even to the extent of making it impossible to use such keys at all.EQUAL AND MEAN-TONE TEMPERAMENT 1 95 of course. and that composers did not require a large number of keynotes. its mediant . comes to this. as far as possible. 92) is abolished. in the keys most commonly used. Up to early mediaeval times the chief system in vogue was the Pythagorean.the number of necessary notes '. The above If fact. It must be remembered that mediaeval music was modal.

nx n. will be 128 x 5 = 640. The is supertonic. . given instead a frequency : of (n x - J. In fig.. Leading note Superdom. will -. the true mediant. in this system.96 will EQUAL AND MEAN-TONE TEMPERAMENT have a frequency (n x ). The advantage lies in this that one whole tone from =n * x 2 - one whole tone from n x a = nx 22 ^ x and # x is. Mediant Supertonic Dominant frequency X f Subdominant frequency x n x f flattened a quarter of a comma. were as follows : The Tonic 2n. the perfect found. . . 2 x sharpened a quarter of a comma. Remembering is that the inexorable condition of the system that the major thirds are true. n x f. as we postulated. 2 Tonic . and that little discrepancy called the its comma of Didymus (|-J-) never shows head at all. Dominant Subdom. . 35. The above table be better understood when fifth is it is explained how. we know that the frequency of e" assuming philosophic pitch. for instance.. in this system. frequencies of the notes of the major scale. we can find from any note the exact pitch of its fifth partial. which in just intonation has a frequency (n x f )..

E. A. a true major third above D. . = 1T2^. i28x| i. (f). A G F . (3) a tempered (one quarter-comma .. below D. . a fifth below 128 (sharpened one quarter-comma). perfect fifths give us a note one comma is sharp. 8 1 times something and 80 times the same thing: And so. C B .. tune the scale of C. frequency x A . Mean-tone vibration-fractions of (i) a Temperament. . as four e. . D C To . in flattened We could. 2 . Bflat. C sharp. 64 x . G sharp. consequently. - Thus two sounds appears that the difference between the that we get for e" is a difference between i. . G . 2105 G. E . by exactly each fifth. 64x1.*. a quarter of a comma. the difference is one comma. G G frequency x f . say 64. . fifth and we use the vibration-fraction of a 128 x 4 the note e" will be - (f) whereas 640 it = = 128 x \\ 1 28 x f = \2^8 x 81. 128. : the above are added F sharp. by the whole tone ( fifth tempered -Y (2) a true major third flat). E ftat.e. . . Mean-tone Temperament.x 80. 64 x f (flattened one quarter -comma). . . . .EQUAL AND MEAN-TONE TEMPERAMENT But if 97 this interval (c to e") is exactly four perfect fifths.

and both the ' be so badly out of tune that the effect of the chord containing such a substitute is known as a wolf. T'B'i n * ~8 (T i frequency of A flat = frequency of C x 4 (to get major third below]. in the that although keys provided for will sound exceptionally beauti: any attempt is to go beyond those keys say to almost impossible. were impossible. human and so in the possibly distinguish it six keys provided by the i2-note octave of Mean-tone Temperament we can say that we are playing with just ear could intonation. becomes Thus and the vibration -fraction of the interval between A flat G sharp is between D sharp and iff. with ease and comfort. a very noticeable difference. ^ and ff. raised an octave. The drawback to the above system lies in this music ful. the E being nearly two-fifths of a semitone sharp. The notes A flat major A flat do not exist. though they involve . and gives us six keys in which. as we can play Indeed.98 EQUAL AND MEAN-TONE TEMPERAMENT This completes the i2-note scale. in the fifths is really negligible. and that E flat is even more considerable. frequency of G sharp frequency of C x f x v 25 * n 11 11 . the error of a quarter-comma it is doubtful whether any . except for slightly unsatisfactory fifths. and many chords which. The dis- crepancy between for G sharp and A flat is an enharmonic diesis. and in place of them we should pelled to use will E major or D sharp and be comlatter notes E flat and G sharp. Old organs used to be provided with two extra black-keys for D sharp and flat. and such extra keys are still to be flat A found on the concertina. the only instrument in which Meantone Temperament survives but even then the remoter keys .

. if difference we have two pipes 12 inches and 24 inches and have to make a series of thirteen with the same between each pipe-length. then we must admit that a keyboard which requires twenty-one notes to the octave is an impossible anachronism. we should make their lengths 12.. 99 might nowadays almost be called diatonic were barred.EQUAL AND MEAN-TONE TEMPERAMENT accidentals. have a keyboard on which The world was it it reluctantly. 14. other Equal Temperament being that the gap between any note and its octave is filled by eleven equidistant notes. 24. 23. sweetness of the Mean -tone Temperament has been sacrificed. even in the more usual keys for which the instrument was supposed to be adequate. Equal Temperament.. and that the purpose an octave of twelve equiAnd one of distant semitones was the only feasible solution. for this many services of J. S. 12. though was necessary to to play was possible music in any key. 24 inches. If we look on an organ as an instrument for the accom- in reasonably diatonic then it is undoubtedly a pity that the extraordinary style. 21. eleven other numbers in such a way that the whole series of thirteen are difficulty in it equidistant. 22. it may be well to point out at once the one and essential point in The only grasping the system. is obvious that we merely have to count. between 12 and 24. paniment of Church music written But that if we consider the organ as a solo instrument. If we are asked to insert.. the whole weight of his influence Bach to music lies in the fact that was thrown into the scale that the composition all on behalf of Equal Temperament. forced to the conclusion that gradually. Similarly. 13.. 23. or claim Church music should gradually absorb the complexities of modern music.. 22. in length. 13. But if we are given two organ-pipes 12 inches and 24 inches G 2 . and of the 48 stands out in history as the death-blow to systems of tuning. 15 . like a child. 14 .

then the tops fig. The by means of pipes of 12. in the sense that the intervals between them will be the same. : 13. the former experiment. at first. with . is as follows. why a constant distance.. 14.ioo EQUAL AND MEAN-TONE TEMPERAMENT in length. as in a constant difference .. The which notes produced will be an octave apart. will not satisfy the reason. Now many people which satisfies fail to see. 36.. we are faced by an entirely different problem. is very simple. and are asked to insert between them eleven pipes whose notes will be equidistant. inches. 15 of the four largest pipes would appear. the two pipes of 1 2 and 24 inches by If we could get our eleven semitones latter case.

and are required to fill in the others. are given three terms in a series. 1 these three given terms 2. and 36. the We ist. while an increase of an inch per pipe has given us a difference of a semitone in pitch for a whole octave. The problem of Equal Temperament form is in its simplest possible this : if have a frequency of a note has a frequency of i its octave will How can we insert eleven terms in 2.. and 25th.. but a constant ratio. 13/2. we suddenly have to double our two it inches. we should be quite right in locating it as an arithmetical progression and merely filling in the numbers as a child would count them. Were But since the three given terms are 12. that we have been trying to do with an arithmetical what can only be done by a geometrical progression. because the next octave will take us to 48/2. but by multiplication is not a constant difference between successive terms. then to get a semitone above 24/2 we should suddenly be obliged to have a note 26?*. i3th. /" is 2. i geometrical progression between The series will be as follows : and 2 ? i . Were it true that we could get a series of equidistant semitones by the notes whose frequencies are 12*2. is and the difference between : each term to say. The same argument would apply to vibration-numbers. the series must be that is in geometrical progression. /".. 14*2. there not caused by addition. and in the third octave will suddenly have to double again. 48. of course. 15/2 . / f\ f\ f\ f\ f\ f\ f\ f\ / 10 . 24.EQUAL AND MEAN-TONE TEMPERAMENT 101 A glance at this illustration will show difference to that. If we had two notes whose frequencies were i2n and 2472 their sounds would be an octave apart. 24. Now we know by Therefore hypothesis that the thirteenth term . The truth is.

is. with such insistence that it cannot be ignored. for example. hear b' and g" sharp with the utmost clearness. Otherwise the numerous ' wolfs ' due to the clash between prime sounds equally tempered and overtones . and reject or swamp those 'curdlings' between more or less subsidiary overtones before they have had time to establish definite unpleasantness. will (both itself it and its third partial g'} so ' curdle ' with the partial. musician will be able to think of many problems which arise from the fact that in Equal Temperament the major third is The noticeably sharpened. whilst the perfect flattened. Luckily it seems to be one of the properties of buildings 1 good for sound ' that they select from the multitudinous vibrations of a chord those which are pleasant.will ring out. will. Should the note c then be added below it. before long the note e" \fa . a stands out very clearly. that only by deliberately our ears from childhood onwards do we ever come corrupting to look on the opening major third of the Dead March when The conclusion to be drawn played on a keyed instrument as being in any way a concord. \^ t) is held down on the organ.series of e that the immediate impression is one of intense discord. Should the note e then be added to the c already held down the shock momentarily caused by its false intonation is Very Again. if n represents the vibration number of a above it is note. then the vibration -number of the semitone n x 2&.102 EQUAL AND MEAN-TONE TEMPERAMENT in and Equal Temperament. fifth is though almost imperceptibly When. after a few moments. the note C is trained ear will notice that the If the note c fifth partial struck on the piano. at the pitch of just intonation. if the note e is held down the trained ear unpleasant.

and few will admit to be an illusion. the C of one tuned exactly to the other (so that the passage can be played in the two keys at the same pitch). is being almost imperceptibly out of tune with used freely. If the pitch of an organ is a semitone sharp certainty The writer has never (as is still often the case) a listener has never (within the . the 3rd. tion. that individual character distinguishing one key from another which every musician claims to feel. The writer. e. A diatonic passage played on the piano key of C and then played in the key of D flat creates two different impressions on a listener.EQUAL AND MEAN-TONE TEMPERAMENT in perfect tune 103 would make even the ordinary major chord on a keyed instrument insupportably offensive. but to two groups of mechanical and the other psychological. feels justified in claiming that the differences in key-colour are attributable. 6th. a trained musician can almost always say with is the undoubted fact that when two pianos D which performance employed only the white notes. come across any one capable of the above distinction when the organ takes the place making of the piano. difference (i) facts. i2th. the 5th. One practical example of the realization of the dangers mentioned above will be of interest to organists.e. loth. not to any actual between keys. the tempered fifth. and 20th partial. after inquiries long enough and wide enough to be called fairly exhaustive. The fifth from the prime (i. and 24th partial). one Mechanical. The sceptic says at once that the difference is due to change of pitch alone but in the . Organbuilders are in the habit of tuning mixtures by perfect intona- and consequently have in general been wise enough to avoid introducing the major third i. his claim upset by flat of the are at hand. At this point one other matter of perpetual interest to musicians may be discussed the question of the existence of key -colour.

many listeners can flat say with certainty. and suddenly lift change it to F sharp major. There seems to be one explanation of the above fact. The two chords of 38 contain six notes FIG. is modified. and also the action of the hammer. and. but to G flat major. by the reduction of leverage. fall. not to ' F sharp. and one only. in D is And this major. (2) Psychological. 38 machine were devised to register the exact strength of the six hammer-blows when these chords are played on a If a piano. a safe prophecy that the sum-strength of the three would greatly exceed that of the three black . And these considerations do not in any way affect the sound of the organ -pipe. however careful the playing and the difference would be due to the position of the piano-keys and the leverage applied to the hammers. The black keys of the piano are smaller and more awkwardly their length situated than the white ones . Hence the firmness and strength of stroke on the part of the player are affected. make : this clear. but the performer was playing in C exactly what. writer's experience) 'That piece was '.104 EQUAL AND MEAN-TONE TEMPERAMENT been known to say. There is a subtle kind of mental analogy that leads us to connect sharps with a rise with a If and flats we play the chord of F major. in addition. from the hammer is less. and in feeling that keys acquire a subdued and less exhilarating pianists . in the case of the piano. we experience a feeling of and exhilaration which is quite absent when we settle change all ' to it. should One example fig. it is white notes ones. Consequently and organists agree in attributing increasing brightness to keys as the number of their sharps increases.

not know It is whiclj edition is being used. on a violin tuned up or down a semitone. still in major. Book in I) was furnished from an edition when he played was printed in D flat. for a passage in the dullest key they G could mention becomes strings to suit that key bright as soon as we tune the open as they normally suit the key of G. until the cumulative effect of many examples will lead us to associate the quality and the tonality as two than in others. But if they are asked to play the same passage. will readily play a passage to prove their contention. since the listener will which it . So the conclusion is inevitable that to violinists the questions of pitch and key-signature are relatively unimportant. a curious and little-noticed fact that violinists entirely disagree with pianists in the characteristics they attribute to To them the brightest of all keys is G major. is caused solely by the performer's mental processes. It is unlikely that any dogmatic statement will be acceptable . the whole composition its character. But the feeling. And things inseparable in our past experience. whether of exhilaration or depression. is a cheerful key not only will we in the matter. and the key. ' ' Finally. for instance. be apt to attribute cheerfulness to music in E major. Every musician will understand exactly changed what was meant by this statement but none the less it is clear that the only change possible under the conditions is a mental change in the performer. they admit at once that the brightness is gone. there can be no 'doubt that Association of Ideas must play a part felt that that E When it is once generally has a certain predominant characteristic any key major. but composers will tend to write cheerful music in that key rather so every new example will accentuate our impression. and they keys.EQUAL AND MEAN-TONE TEMPERAMENT 105 character in proportion to the number of their flats. 1 is not inherent in A striking instance of this psychological bias recently by a great performer. who said that Bach's C sharp major fugue (from the 48.

it is due to the influence of the open strings and their partials.io6 EQUAL AND MEAN-TONE TEMPERAMENT who have made up their to those minds as to the characters of keys. . ' ' ' agreed in attributing brightness to F sharp major. in the case of causes (which keyed means that it is really purely imaginary. owing to the psychological effect of Yet the key. to psychological is due. appealed to on the matter. and 'mellowness to G flat major. The general number of musicians. without presumption. but is the result of what we ourselves feel. that it would seem possible to say. one in each key. not a matter of pitch. in the case of stringed instruments. according to the As copy which happened to confront his eyes. the player would feel one or other of these qualities predominating. since people who do not play the piano that the arrangement of black feel verdict of a key-character as strongly as those who do. were two copies made of a composition.signature. for those with no sense of absolute pitch are by no means the least deterIt is mined in the matter . character we impute to a key does not really belong any to the sounds of a composition in that key. the instrument would produce exactly the same sounds in it either case seems as certain that key-character instruments. as it is that. and all agreed that. and it is not due to the accidental fact and white piano-keys affects uniformity of sound. imposed on a key by the player and not inherent to the key).

TRANSMISSION CHAPTER XV ON THE NATURE OF MOTION THE word to consider Motion. And even when people have become subject. which began by being another. implies the movement of an involving the change of position. in one position. or may vary his speed walking slowly up hill and fast down. that different forms of direct elementary different characteristics. even minds. with an extra spurt at the end on seeing that his train is most of them know that the pace of the bullet signalled decreases as it flies. there will be a possess realize that the Every one will man may walk to the station at a uniform pace.PART VI. All such knowledge. their enough to propound questions on the . the bullet. When a ball has been rifle thrown from one person has hit a target. to those its who have never had occasion object it carefully. curves downwards towards the earth because of the influence of gravitation. after reaching a certain height. end by being in amongst motion general recognition. when a shot from a when a man has left his house and arrived at the station. and the man. to another. In addition. rifle ball. is concerned with an aspect of motion which involves the removal of something solid from one place curious to another. and that if it hits a human being his . since the ball. however. the most unsophisticated mind apprehends that there has been motion. chance of being hurt lessens as his distance from the increases some of them may have discovered that the .

. But with this chapter in the we begin and above division. on beginning to consider Transmission. Apparent Motion. But it is so looking imperative that a student. They are (1) (2) The The study of the cause or origin of air. and . when a vibrating body vibrates we do actually have an instance of something solid changing rapidly from one position to another. section (2) the transmission of sound is a ques.vibrations study of the transmission of air-vibrations from the . origin to the ear (3) The study of the mechanism of the ear which transmutes the stimulus received in the shape of air-vibrations into the sensation of Sound. The easiest way to get a preliminary idea of Apparent Motion is by means of an example. Imagine a long row of ladies of the same height drawn up in a straight line. suppose. not in any is grasp. as that of the ship's motion. should have a clear and distinct idea of the change which way difficult to occurs at this point in the meaning he gives the word. and of nothing else but it is motion of a nature almost entirely different from that with which we have hitherto tion of motion been dealing. called Apparent Motion. This new conception of motion. that Royalty is They have been told. that the nature of Apparent Motion will now be analysed in detail. but in the opposite Now the study of Sound is : really the study of three different things which can and ought to be kept in water-tight compartments. The motion involved in the first of these three sections is of the kind just discussed. the study of transmission. each one touching her neighbour. let us going to drive past them. That is to say.io8 ON THE NATURE OF MOTION : form implying the same conception such as the familiar problem as to whether a man is really moving when he walks along a ship's deck at exactly the riddles will usually take a same pace direction. being merely a new way of at facts perfectly obvious to every one.

whilst the wave-form moves onward over the surface and so we have another instance position at all. of course. a depression sweep along the line from one end to the Something. . A third illustration of the same thing in a less obvious form down by some one who 1 furnished by a rope fixed at one end and jerked up and holds the free end. when we know that the actual water does not where the is direct motion is at right angles to the apparent. The student should. This established ' the fact that the actual path of all particles on the surface of the water is oval and that the oval approximates to a circle as the depth of the water . at this point. but for the purpose now in hand (i. has moved along the top of the line from left to right or right to left. increases. that is to say. whereas the apparent motion has been east and west and we have an elementary example where the motion of particles is at right angles to the motion of the whole. whilst the only other. about the word almost '. as soon as the curtsying begins. A of waves may be seen. in which the motion just described. If you then take it is up a position behind them. at such a distance that see the row as an unbroken line without seeing that you can com- posed of individuals. . . the direct motion i. all clearly proceeding in one direction. A second example. the various curtsies has been north and south. is It is consequently assumed that when the depth of the water very great the path of each surface-particle becomes circular. like the curtsying of the ladies in the previous illustration. be acquainted with Weber's Law. The result is The is which student need not worry. movement of a movement of the drops motion of surface-particles to be just ' done by considering the up and down '.ON THE NATURE OF MOTION that each in turn 109 must make her curtsy. e. is is the same as that series the ordinary sea-wave. qua movement. actual movement of any If and down. e. the realization that the forward quite distinct from the of water which constitute the wave) no harm is wave is. at a time change its one drop of water simply moves up and Any down almost 1 perpendicularly. you will notice. inserted owing to the discovery of Weber's Law. we consider the individual unit has been directly up movements as taking place in a plane at right angles to the earth.

not at right angles to the direc: Two tion of the waves. Any fig. always travelling away from the holder and towards the fixed end. A field of wheat is standing. 40 FIG. the motion of the wave.e. extreme edge of the field and blows the stalks of fig. given number of ears are alternately compressed into a space less than that normally occupied (as in 40) and extended over a space greater than normal it (as in fig. 39 into all its A moment later the stalks affected the shape of fig. The things should be noticed ears of corn move. regain the perpendicular position by reason of their elasticity. find the But com- prehension becomes less easy when we same process .no ON THE NATURE OF MOTION a snake-like curve in the rope. on a calm day. as the passing gust is bending another set of stalks (fig. not difficult to is. e. at right angles to the apparent motion of the rope-wave. 41). when they are regaining in the opposite direction to the apparent motion (2) i. A FIG. 41). ground e. but practically in the same plane. for the purpose of introducing a new consideration. 40. Such apparent motion as has been described probably be admitted. motion (1) is that of the corn. 41 In this example the apparent motion is that of a wave The direct travelling over the whole surface of the corn. with wheat-stalks perpendicular to the gust of wind strikes the wheat on the ground (fig. 39). One more example is necessary. 39 FIG. for all practical purposes. i. But half of their movement the perpendicular) is (i. Yet a moment's thought discloses that any one particle of rope is travelling up and down to the in a line perpendicular. will comprehend.

In water-waves. exactly as the alternate conditions of compression particle of air has. are far more frequent. the displacement of air in the tube But as a matter of fact very small. think that the shock at the end of the pipe drives the column say a pipe of two-inch diameter go out exactly as if of air throtigk the pipe squeezing out so many inches at the other end just as ointment is squeezed out of a tube and that these inches puff out the flame in the same way is as a column of air directly blown from the mouth. Place half a dozen billiard-balls in a row. The standard experiment is as follows : Take a long tube and place a lighted match at one end. been in a direction directly during a portion of opposite to that in which the shock has been travelling. are apt to Many people. close to the opening. But when the medium is air our understanding at in work lacks the help of the eyes. on witnessing this experiment. at ears of corn were in and extension. touching each other. and corn-waves we can see with our eyes the apparent motion of the medium the water. The first of these two cases is when the medium is invisible. and . rope. though without thrusting themselves on our notice. at least once.Ill two other ways which. and the extinguishing has been done by the shock which has travelled along the tube thro^^gh the medium of the air enclosed while . or corn. rope-waves. the time. particle of the air has. The the actual movement of any given particles of air have been in alternate conditions of condensa- tion and rarefaction. been travelling. is when the medium. does movement which the eye can detect. though visible. not perform any The second The case stock example is that of the transmission of the motion of a billiard-ball through a number of stationary balls. and every some moment between the instant of clapping and the instant of extinguishing. away from the flame and towards the hands. If the hands are sharply clapped close to the opening at the other end the flame will it had been blown.

touching the same cushion. still. on reaching the translated into motion. The experiment needs a certain amount of regulation in practice. to the ball nearest to will it is then hit on the result No. finding no barrier in starts on a journey of its own. of the string of six be that it will stop dead. But for our purpose we it is may its ignore everything except the one fact that possible for the first ball.ii2 all ON THE NATURE OF MOTION . though apparently on to a sixth ball which. whilst the ball at the other end breaks away and runs along by itself. all touching each other and all touching the cushion. a definite force which. impetus. e. since it is not difficult to hit the seventh ball so hard that the whole string of six balls is disturbed. All that we need comprehend is that the particles composing the solid ivory balls do. from one end to the other of five is of them. . leaving behind it a stationary row of six balls. when five hit properly. then place a seventh ball a touching" the cushion distance from one end and in the same straight line If the seventh ball i little i. without permanently changing their own positions with regard to any fixed point. manage to transmit. to stop dead and project perfectly front of it. other balls all actually occurs inside each ball during this transmission of energy would involve an inquiry into the To examine what constitution of matter. last ball.

2105 H . &c. it is recognized that the elements of the matter are very simple. absence of standards of measurement. is and exactness. with whom the one essential condition of progress stage . discovered this difficulty at an early they set to work devising methods of measuring such things as motion. think one composition more beautiful than we describe it as twice as beautiful the ' ' We valuation becomes. in the absence of measuring-standards. into the first steps. As these steps are them. ' absolutely essential to the understanding of any facts whatever connected with the transmission of sound. but may. by means of graphs '. graphically and exactly. and expressing the results of the measurements by means of curves. Musicians will at once all recognize the difficulty as one that arises in questions and feel fairly safe arguments about Beauty. Men of science.. however. before attempting to deal with their application later on. and small children are initiated. a mere figure of speech. the student will be wise to make himself entirely at home with the contents of this chapter.CHAPTER XVI ON CURVES OF POSITION EVERYBODY discussion has. in saying that we if another . perhaps. at some time or other. rates of increase. taken part in a on a question involving the analysis or comparison and few can have failed to realize that the difficulties inherent in such discussions are due to the of abstract things . difficult to Their methods used to be considered so understand that only the most advanced mathematical students at any school in England were introduced to Nowadays.

andy and by joining our . (a) where the perpendiculars from the axes intersect. 5. we register the points b. e. If To make beef is a shilling a pound we can register the relations between r 6/-r r-n r-*/ v- O FIG. the unit being one shilling. d. equal sections. Starting at O (the Origin]. essential apparatus of a 42. of either characteristic one section will stand for and the amount so chosen be our unit. . which are called Axes. 4. how much . 42 FIG.. the unit (one section) being i Ib. Both axes are already partitioned into fix. the perpendicular Axis is to register price. 1 2 3 4 5 61b. 3. points ' by 1 the dotted line of fig. and 6 Ib. move one section east if we are dealing with will cost one pound. students will recognize the familiar ' graph of their schooldays. 43 is weight and cost as follows. vSettle that we will register the amount of one characteristic along the horizontal axis. and we have to will before starting. and one section north because the one unit of weight one unit of price and we register our first point . Dealing in the same way with amounts of 2. since the introduction of another Many ' ' ' technical term might be confusing. the amount of another along the We perpendicular axis. c. Hut the word graph has been avoided. 43 we find that the 1 ' curve of position takes the form of a straight line. the above process clear beyond any possibility of misunderstanding let us take the case of a butcher's bill. The horizontal Axis : to register weight.ON CURVES OF POSITION The fig. \\e. On a piece of squared paper Curve of Position is shown we draw two lines in at then right angles to one another.

The the six sections of fig. though they may seem to him contrary to common sense. while a temperature-curve will obviously curve in clearly be a zigzag composed of straight lines. In fig. patient's temperature . H . minutes and one mile we get the result in result 44 if we prefer one hour and two miles we get the in fig. and may rest assured that. is taken at fixed intervals. He must. the unit being generally four hours so that while the 43 would equal one day perpendicular axis represents temperature. fifteen . of registration can be applied.ON CURVES OF POSITION One 115 case of the use of this form of registering. to problems of elementary motion. since all must be momentarily (6} in motion from a point of one definite direction. rest only a special form of curve. out the curve of position for a man walking at the plot is A straight line ' The same methods ' uniform rate of four miles an hour. Here the horizontal axis represents time. Two conclusions should be evidently true to any one : who is really understands what has been said up to this point (a) When motion is uniform the curve of position invariably a straight line. and then fix our units of time and distance. 45.is familiar to every one the temperature-chart. we draw our axes as If we before. (b) The curve of position is never. . under 2 any circumstances. however. their universal acceptance as axioms by : all mathematicians does not really betray any stupidity (a) All curves are really composed of an infinite number of straight lines. accept two facts which cannot be discussed here. and marked on the chart and when these marks are joined we get the Temperature-curve. each section usually representing the unit of one-fifth of a degree Fahrenheit. choose fig. The non-mathematician the fact that the ' may be ' puzzled at this point by both our examples is used word in an apparently wrong sense. with equal If we wish to simplicity. 43 our curve was a straight line.

The straight 44 and 45 may have walked in a perfectly line. illustrate the path actually travelled. Mile 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 O . but he may equally well have been walking This fact is round and round the Albert Hall.n6 man ON CURVES OF POSITION intended to in figs. essential of importance in understanding the Associated Wave.

during which it it has travelled 200 yards. 47 represent the bottom left-hand square of i. Now. and to represent this the dotted line of fig. and we could see that it must have done 50 But the yards in half a minute. 46 O must be contimwusly bending. But this is not so. clear that the four points marked in fig.ON CURVES OF POSITION 117 Let us decide on units of one minute and one hundred yards. may appear Yards 1. the portion of the curve from the origin to a in Let fig. e. result 800 700 straight line from O to a repreits sented the engine's position. then 600 500 speed would be uniform. together with its curve of position. at d. will be 300 yards from the station it registered at b. fig.000 some that b from the origin to from a to to c. The It is third minute will take i 600 yards from home. the end of the second minute.000 yards. the engine travels at a uniform speed of 100 yards per 46 in : . it . At the end of one minute the distance travelled is At 100 yards. an enlarged form OA being one unit of distance if (100 yards). 46. engine's speed 400 300 200 100 was not uniform that it was the increase of speed was postulated as uniform. and consequently that the 900 of joining them is no true If a curve. the fourth minute . as in fig. 46 cannot be to in the same straight line. at . to show at the that at any moment the speed before. during the first It is minute fig. OB one unit of time (one minute). and the point a registers it. is slightly greater than moment so important that this point should be clearly understood that it will be well to analyse the movement of the engine. 46. but . and c to d must be straight lines.

that to find out. Should we want to find out how long point p. and not the time occupied. with no acceleration. O is the fixed end of the swing. in the manner of those already described. on paper. by joining the sixty jZ$-points together. and so the same ratio continuously increases in value. giving second (the position of at the end of the sixtieth second Consequently. at a uniform speed. we shall get. but we are not limited in the number of points we can this take. like . 47 that so long as the engine covers unit of time. consist of sixty diminutive straight lines. not the straight line OP but a curve. represented by curve of position is obviously the diagonal OP. but that as soon as we introduce the idea of acceleration the ordinate increases in length quicker than the abscissa. and p coinciding with P). and so we can make these straight lines as small as we and when they are infinitely small the result is a curve.] only curve with which students of Acoustics from a purely musical standpoint must be familiar is the one which shows. that will represent the motion of the child. ends pointing upwards and to say that at rest. travelled. the ratio of the ordinate to the abscissa will always be the It is fig. evident from one unit of distance in one same . we want then we draw a perpendicular (called the abscissa) to the distance axis and measure OM.n8 ON CURVES OF POSITION its minute. [It is true curve would. Suppose that we are watching a child The swinging in the garden. 48). if we insert^ in fifty-nine places between O the position of the engine at the end of each P. it has taken to reach a certain we drop a perpendicular pN (called the ordinate offl) to the time axis If it is the distance and measure ON. and wish to put on paper something It would be quite its simple to draw a semicircle with (fig. S the swing when and the semicircle the path travelled by . the rate of increase and decrease of the speed of the bob of a pendulum during its swing.

48. stated in another. make would. unless we were teaching a class of small children. to put A and show the . 50) is known as the curve of sines. falls with ever-increasing speed to S. where its maximum speed occurs. . harmonic motion and the curve required is one which will . and then the shadow represent the variation in speed. that the swing is momentarily at rest at B. scarcely be worth our while to such a diagram. fig. 49 represent a swing exactly similar to that in and suppose that the sun is shining immediately overAs the child swings from A to B a shadow will be thrown on the ground from X to begin by moving slowly from X. without is pictorial illustration. Let head. This shadow will until the child reaches S. a greatly increasing the point of maximum at will travel for the second half speed of its journey at a pace exactly the reverse of that of the The motion of the shadow is known as simple first half. rope is constant the swing must travel For. fact. and possibly simpler. for every one knows.ON CURVES OF POSITION the swing 1 119 when It in motion. and its shape is exactly what would be drawn by the shadow (if we can imagine the shadow being provided with a pencil) on . This curve (fig. 4 9 The problem may be way. FIG. But we know also another viz. Y. but pace. fig. since the length of the swingsome portion of the arc ASB. however. and then rises with everdiminishing speed to its opposite position of rest at will we may desire variation in on paper something which the rate at which the child moves. 48 Fro. that the path of a swing circular.

being. B is the height of the crest. FIG. then its distance from the diameter AOC is Now the length of always represented by the perpendicular p/. the trough . being a radius. Since P . and they are equal (or Dd) is the amplitude of the curve. CE the length of the trough. is constant) is a ratio vp depending on the angle POA. If we suppose that in fig. and they are equal . Dd the depth of the trough.I3O ON CURVES OF POSITION its a piece of paper drawn across at right angles to the direction of path at a uniform rate and its motion. the sine of that angle (sometimes it is called the sine of the arc AP). CDE . AC B<$ is the length of the crest. fp compared to OP (which. in fact. . [Readers whose mathematics includes a knowledge of the meaning of the trigonometrical term sine may get a firmer grasp of the curve of simple harmonic motion from the following explanation. 5 1 the point P is travelling at a uniform speed from A to B. In the above curve AE is the length ABC is the crest.

a uniform speed we may consider the arc AP proportional and then p/ (which is always equal to the distance of s if PS be drawn perpendicular to BO) will represent. This movement of s along DOB exactly corresponds with the motion of a single particle of air when the mass of air is excited by a vibrating body into alternate states of condensation and rarefaction and those who are able to grasp the above description of a circular from the centre by its increase .ON CURVES OF POSITION moves at 121 to the time.] . function will be able to feel that their grasp of the process is founded on mathematical truth. 49 and s in the shadow travelling along it. the variation of pace in the movement of s along OB when DOB corresponds to the line XY in fig. and decrease.

states of rarefaction we should throw the air into alternate and condensation. And in which case the density of the air will be doubled. by alternately opening and closing the telescope. way a when It the density is diminished we say the increased^ in air is in a state of rarefaction. by way of illustration.CHAPTER WHEN XVII ON THE ASSOCIATED WAVE a vibrating body is in motion it communicates its vibrations to the air. It is possible to give 1 some idea of ' ' these alternate states of See density on p. to construct an would be possible. since each state would be equally removed from the normal. communicates them to our ears . 13. in its turn. 1 In the same pint of air can be compressed into a half-pint receptacle. and the amount of rarefaction when the telescope was fully extended would be equal to the amount of condensation when it was closed tight. air air-tight telescope in which the was in a normal condition when the telescope was exactly half-way between its extreme and its shortest length. to twice its a pint of air. It has already been stated that air has a power of expansion and contraction possessed by few other substances. Then. though in expanding itself normal volume it halves its density. the air fills the pot'. which. . have now to examine what happens in the air itself whilst We vibrations are in course of transmission. If we pour half a pint of water into a pint-pot the pot is only half But if we make a vacuum in the pot and let in half filled. when it is a state of condensation. and we say that the vibrations have been ' trans- mitted' through the air from the vibrating body to the listener.

But what is happening between the centre and any of a hundred wheredifferent points on the outside bladder is exactly the same : . that from the sphere of vibravibrating body tions we can still further simplify the matter by reducing the two dimensions of fig. 52. on this side of the paper and on the other side as The illustration shows in two dimensions a process which really involves three. radius. and consider merely what to the circumference of happens ^long any straight and the ear. But for a true picture of air-vibrations equally in all directions we should imagine a series "of footballs of different sizes. where the dark lines signify compression and the lighter intervening spaces rarefaction at a particular It moment. and south. but since exactly the same thing the origin of a sound is happening along any in any its straight line from is. north. if completed. as well as the one on the east but the . We want to find out what happening inside between the centre and the outmost bladder. would show a series since they spread of circles.ON THE ASSOCIATED WAVE 123 condensation and rarefaction by means of shading. 52 not really circular but spherical. is one outside the other. We could draw arcs from the tuning-fork to reach ears on the west. line between the origin of sound If the last paragraph is not clear the student may find help in the following analogy. vibrations would also reach ears well. that the must be understood is movement in the air illus- trated in fig. 52 to one. If we take a sectional view of the air between a vibrating" body and a listener we can imagine it as in fig. 52. Fig.

it reaches its maximum of fact condensation . half-way between the extremes of condensation and rarefaction. this curve is called the Certain facts Associated Wave. 52 will show that a point may be taken. and the air is So it is only doing exactly the same thing along all of them. Hence the wave-curve illustrative of the rate of increase and decrease of pace of a pendulum (fig. must be remembered about this curve and all is its proportions. 1 25) is also the curve which shows pictorially the process of rarefaction and condensation in the air caused by a pure musical sound and . spherically. p.e. where the state of the air is normal. 49. The object A glance at fig. singer's mouth and the ears of the various listeners are a number of straight lines. p. but the most important of the fact that no . on their journey in all directions at once. and can ignore the still. . It is an established and no musical student need enter which lead up to it that the rates of increase and decrease of rarefaction and condensation just described are exactly proportional to the rates of increase and into the calculations decrease of pace in the shadow thrown by the swing along the line XY in fig. 119. of the Associated Wave is to represent to the eye the process of rarefaction and condensation of the air along such a line. It then becomes (i) more and more rarefied until it reaches the maximum of rarefaction then (2) becomes less and less rarefied until it again reaches normal next (3) it becomes more and more condensed until .124 fore if ON THE ASSOCIATED WAVE we examine the straight line between the centre and any one we shall get a true conception of the whole fact point on the outside process. that it is a spherical process altogether. 50. finally (4) it again proceeds to normal. necessary to examine one of these lines to conceive the whole But between the system. More obviously air-vibrations start when a man on a platform sings a note the i.

. will always be equal pure for since the air in any wave-length is a given it quantity any condensation of in the half AC involves a compensating rarefaction in the half CE. sound increases in volume in A exact proportion to the condensation of the air at its maximum point. but to give a graphic representation of those variations in its density. is whose frequency 55 260 have a wave-length of Fig. 50 (reproduced). The air does not vibrate in curves at all.100 feet per second. of the wave is AE. and the sole duty of the line B& is to register the maximum density. but in throbs. (c) The amplitude of the wave corresponds to the intensity of the sound it represents. the trough CDE to the rarefaction of the air. backwards and and the sole object of > forwards along a straight line < the curve (as of all curves of position) is. due to rarefaction and condensation. and musical sounds. of what happens.ON THE ASSOCIATED WAVE motion whatever takes place 1 in the air (or anywhere else) remotely resembling the shape of the curve. (6} The crest ABC corresponds to the condensation. If we find the length is 10 feet. taking the (a) In velocity of sound 1 at 1. and this governs fig. the frequency of Conversely. which cannot be exactly shown in any other way. The height of crest Bt> and trough are measured by the amplitudes these.or no vibrations per second. 50 the length the pitch. and D^. not to draw a picture . will the note the note 1 1 --- is xj. in the case of to each other . then.

and if we take the velocity of sound as = ioo/. Calling wave-length / and velocity z>. i (2). we get the formula Again... Fig... &' Substituting they of the . perpendicularly] iinder that point. the vibration whose period is T a frequency of oo. (3)- second has For example. If we call the frequency / and the period p. 53 represents half the associated wave of a simple It is often carelessly assumed that the height pp^- vibration.of v .e. we . i *p . If one vibration takes one-hundredth of a second the frequency unity of the note is i divided by T Q. since the velocity of sound is always equal to wave-length is .] ^ The student must beware of mistake in his making one very common conception of the Associated Wave.. ' we may say that the velocity of a wave - ^H~ a period means simply the time which a vibrating body needs for one complete swing the time which a complete i. The height of the curve at any point does not represent the state of the air immediately (i. (i) for . vibration takes to pass through the air. i. and i..e.. The vibration-number of a note is found when we divide by the period required for one complete vibration.. TOO feet per second we know from (3) that noo therefore the wave-length is 1 1 feet. 100. . we get another formula : V / =p = lf =l .126 ON THE ASSOCIATED WAVE [Readers who like to reduce their knowledge to formulae may be interested in the following mathematical statement. e. get - . corresponds to the amount of condensation at the point p. ... .

The that the We have Wave when sound. Similarly. to be found by making pp* =pp^ and the same is true of the trough. away from p as p wherever we take p 1 on the crest. between our ears and the origin of sound. all of them. at If fig. The one in which the prime is accompanied by its its first overtone its only. and consequently great. tance . a water-wave the particle of water tOjZ* p would upwards and back again to p during the time that it formed part of the crest of the wave. What happens p. remembering that p* will be on the other side of p. occupying the place 53 represented travel it when the air is at rest. when motion p moves along AB to the point p z the same disthe air is in . If AB (fig. the same length. it represents the condensation at a point *. in the air 1 See Fourier's Theorem. 54) : is the wave-length of the prime then the associated its wave of 55) is that note will exactly cover length . it will carry two associated waves of the first The problem before us is this. . taken 1 Let us take a very simple Clang separately. wave-length will be twice as that we know there must be. The So frequency of the prime will be half that of overtone. 74. two sets of vibrations whose frequencies and wave-lengths are in the ratio i 2. 1 Thus. student will probably understand by now the statement Associated Wave expresses by transverse means vibrations in the air which are really longitudinal. and if CD (fig.ON THE ASSOCIATED WAVE Now p proper to 1 127 is a position in the normal line. overtone. p 1 . simple tones. now to consider the character of the Associated the vibrations are not those of a simple musical study of partial tones teaches us that a Clang is always composed of a prime with overtones.

is a combination This combination-wave is found by drawing both simple waves to the same normal-line (or axis). and so the amplitude of the combination -wave be the (the dotted line) will sum of them. whose associated wave of the two waves drawn above. are on different . of which figs. fig. are ? being transmitted taneously The answer is that they combine into one com- FIG. For example. If both ordinates are \ on the same side lesser of the axis they are added if they are on different sides the is subtracted from the greater. side of the axis. At the point b the two ordinates &5 1 <5 . 56 shows one complete wave and the crest of a second wave : At the point a the ordinate of the longer wave is aa l . 54 and 55 simul- the Associated Waves. and combining the ordinates at any point.128 ON THE ASSOCIATED WAVE these when are two sets of vibrations. the ordinate of the shorter aa 2 both ordinates are on the same . 54 55 plex vibration-system. 2 .

ON THE ASSOCIATED WAVE 129 sides of the axis. The pitch of sound is affected by any violent movement of the vibrating body to or from the listener. is not affected by atmospheric If the temperature is constant the velocity is independent of the barometer. consequently the amplitude of the co nbina- tion-wave will be the difference between them. do not affect the velocity at which (c) it travels. What is done in fig. is forced a little nearer to and the pitch raised car has passed us. the wave-lengths are shortened the reverse taking place the instant the Thus which is the true pitch of the horn. which latter tends to disperse and destroy vibrations. and any two resultants . it. Consequently sound is refracted. however. . though affected (see p. combined in the considering the of Transmission. It does (d) The effect of wind on sound-waves is curious. No musician can have failed to notice that a motor-horn drops in pitch as it passes him. As things are. but considerably alters their velocity and range. though they affect the distance at which a sound is audible. owing to obstacles and friction. not affect their pitch. the wind travels at a slower pace near the earth than higher up. The reason (called Doppler's Principle) is that as the car travels towards us each vibration. of temperature. of which the most important are the question certain arise. (b) Variations in pitch and intensity. number of side-issues following (a) : The velocity of fall sound in air. instead of reaching the ear at its proper distance from the previous one. in 1 A same way. half-way between the two notes. If the surface of the earth were perfectly smooth Neither note lies and without interruption a favourable wind would carry a sound both farther and quicker than an adverse one. 16) by a rise or pressure. since in a favourable wind it . 56 with two vibration-systems can obviously be done with a thousand for any two simple waves can be combined into one resultant.

for it the air near the earth becomes hotter than that above . with the result that the whole vibration -system is directed into space. . meeting with less resistance. so that a travelling vibration-system is directed towards the ground instead of. travel faster than the higher ones and the plane is tilted up. and movement will be tilted towards the earth. and causes sound to travel faster near the ground. towards space.130 ON THE ASSOCIATED WAVE a Httle height than near the ground. as becomes in turn in the heat of the day. and the lower air more dense than the upper. At night the earth cools. diminishes in density. a sultry day refraction occurs in the same manner. will travel faster at the plane of its In an adverse wind the lower vibrations. On expands.

and fraction rather than from simpler. Students who desire a physical explanation of the occurrence of Combination Tones are referred to any standard work on Acoustics. Its pitch.be 1 two generators must 3 ff = f. and the differential will be 4 = 1. I 2 . and the notes which cause them are called the Generators. When we phenomenon listen to two sounds of different pitch another presents itself. Such sounds are called Combination or Resultant Tones (occasionally Harmonics].CHAPTER XVIII COMBINATION TONES WHEN we listening to a listen to a single Clang we know that we are group of sounds varying in pitch. to find differentials from* a vibrationIn the above the actual frequencies. The vibration-number of a Differential is found by the simple process of subtracting the frequency of the lower generator from that of the higher. when sounding simultaneously. Only the facts which seem important from a musician's standpoint are dealt with here. for instance. case. And even if the prime tone is the only one recognizable by the unassisted ear. Differential Tones. usual. 1 as Tartini's known There are two kinds of Combination Tones. the vibration-fraction of the . we can prove the presence of other sounds by means of resonators. called Differential and Summational Tones. produce a differential It is whose frequency is 50. Thus if two notes have frequencies of 200 and 150 they will. We can hear or prove the of sounds which are not to be heard when either presence note is listened to alone.

with their . vibration-fraction overhead the lower stave shows the differ* y 543 45? ! . Fig.132 COMBINATION TONES accordingly. will be that of the first partial in the series of which the generators are the third and fourth partials. 57 shows the differentials of the concords within the The upper stave gives the generators. octave.

is better tage still. is f generate the . Helmholtz invented an instrument called the Double Syren for the purpose of tracing differentials. but the invariable result of simultaneous sounds. but this is not the case. A C the differential rises a semitone at once without apparently losing any of its intensity. and though a description of it would be too elaborate to undertake here every has access to a physical laboratory should few minutes' experimenting is acquaintance with it. which is middle C. But if a major 6th such as middle C and the A above it is struck loudly five faintly. But only very occasionally differential. or six times the F below can be heard And if. But as only one really successful experiment is necessary successful to convince a sceptic it is probably most convenient for the ordinary musical student to use the violin. sustained tone makes experiments and the concertina. 153 differential 5-3 = it is whose vibration-fraction 2. student who make suffi- A cient to convince any one that differentials are not occasional accidents. and B. during the striking. the F-key has been depressed.COMBINATION TONES notes. Most G violinists think this sound is due to the vibration of the open D string. finger at an early stage the differential is not flat and affected and if the notes are changed to . It is difficult to the piano. On more the harmonium the . partly because of equal temperament. as in fig. partly because the tone of the piano is evanescent. with the double advanof sustained tone and Mean-tone Temperament. If a minor 6th. does a listener admit that he can hear the quite plain to though any ear accustomed to listening for such hear differentials when experimenting on things. . 59. although in time the open string does reinforce the differBut if the D string is damped by the ential. is played loudly on the two top strings the differential D is plainly heard. the free strings will slightly reinforce the differential.

and not between one of themselves and any overtone.I Three considerations are worth noticing (1) Differentials are produced amongst themselves. : .i 34 COMBINATION TONES by two independent tones. such as been dealing with. and become of less and less actual importance. yet their presence can be proved. There are also differentials of the second order. (2) Although any differentials but those of the first order are exceedingly difficult to hear.-.. and again differentials of the third order. Differentials generated generated between either independent note and the first order differential. are called Differentials of the first we have order. and they are not mere theoretical inventions. generated between those of the second order and their pre- Iy -SK (whose vibration-fraction is (fl) " O : f) we get the following : results Differential of the first order 8 5=3 3 " [D- Differentials of the second order : 8 = 5 (already sounding) Differentials of the third order : 8 5 = 3 (already sounding) 8-2 = 6 5 2 = 3 (already sounding) 3-.

to inquire further in an elementary study of Acoustics. when this custom grew was in its infancy. When we if each note hear the notes C. between the major and minor common chord. and (2) the curdle between is the prime E flat and the E natural which such a prominent overtone to C. the harmonic chord of each. These tones are extremely difficult to hear. These are sounds whose pitch corre- sponds to the sum of the vibration-numbers of two generators. 60 E natural (the 3rd. Summation Tones. with regard to partials and differential tones. It is often forgotten that in the days . certain circumstances a keen ear will find this chord very because of (as fig. since the only objectionable partials to FIG. draw of thirds on a tempered instrument. Reference has already been made the harsh effects caused 102) to the question of overtones in the playing by clashing (p. 60 will show) (i) the 'curdling' unpleasant. and their importance is generally considered to be small and if a student aware of their existence and nature he will have no cause is . of the overtones.COMBINATION TONES (3) 135 Overtones do generate differentials of their own. Composers wrote up equal temperament or chiefly for the organ (tuned to Mean-tone Temperament) for voices or strings which would sing and play true thirds. but they can be ignored for practical purposes. and the major 3rd acquired the nickname of Tierce de Picardie. G sounded we also hear. b' and the 5th g" sharp) were not strong enough to be really offensive. Thus two notes whose frequencies are 200 and 150 will generate a summation tone whose frequency is 350. Composers did not take long to find out that a major chord was far more harmonious and smooth. is a Under clang. Consequently they formed the habit of ending minor compositions with a major chord. At this point we may attention to the difference. E flat.

In the major chord (see first fig. But nowadays. 61 C. even in equal temperament. 61) the three differentials of the order have the pitch of i Fio. gives us three differentials is order of which one . however. The minor chord. on of the a first the other hand. when even our organs are tuned with false thirds. and so is less than that of the major chord which is not interfered with in any by the differentials it way from this cause. When. . are therefore justified in feeling that. and any one who will trouble to work out the differentials of the second order will find that they introduce no new note. if the partials alone decided the matter. we look chords it is at the differentials of the two easy to see that another element of great inharis moniousness all introduced. it is doubtful whether the major chord could be considered in any way more harmonious than the minor. A flat introducing quite differentials flat new discordant element and the second order introduce another A flat and a new note B as well. the smoothness of the minor chord is adversely affected We produces.136 COMBINATION TONES In these conditions the change from an E flat to an E natural which was in tune ^mth the E already sounding as a partial of C was a really important improvement.

the vibrations in the air between the origin of a simple sound and the ear are exactly similar. but would be shifted a little to the right and would end at e 1 or e2 . . they are said to be exactly similar waves in a different phase. Provided. for instance. secured a full vibration-length in each case. but if we could isolate a number of them for examination we might find we had one specimen just beginning just beginning its its condensation. The only difference between the various waves so drawn being their starting. and imagine IF we suddenly agitated by a system of waves length advancing from the direction of A. another rarefaction.CHAPTER XIX PHASE AND INTERFERENCE represent a certain distance of calm unruffled water say 20 feet by the straight line AE of fig. every would be a replica of all the others except its . that its surface is 20 feet in But in drawing the above curve we have pictured the 2o-feet wave and at the is it moment it exactly filled the chosen 20 -feet space obvious we might have chosen any other moment. If. In the same way. 1 or 2 .place. however. 62. . then the water will take some such form as the curve ABCDE. we started drawing it at the point a the curve would be identical in shape with ABCDE. for we had specimen phase.

naturally. In the above case the_resull^_jinexpected as it may seem. If these sounds begin at the same instant then the resultant sound. intensity of the individual sounds . 63 beginning its_rarefactionthe result. passes from B to C the volume of the resultant increases to four again. so that the result of the two sounds will be something between silence and a volume of sound four times as great as either sound alone. will be represented by a wave of exactly twice the amplitude that is to say.138 PHASE AND INTERFERENCE is. From fig. start just Should one sound^ however. 63. as it moves towards B the . Let us now examine the case of two simultaneous sounds which are in every way equal. by the : firetj^wjaflnten^ity. They can be represented by two associated waves also exactly similar. expressed in associated waves. That if we revert to the associated wave instead of the vibration one wave was the curve ABODE. and the phases are said to be in t exact opposition. 46) it will be four times as loud. Thus volume of the resultant decreases to zero as it there are only two exact instants at which the second sound . 63 it is clear that the dotted curve (representing the sound which starts late) may begin anywhere between A If it starts at A the resultant has four times the and C. another the wave between the perpendiculars from a A and <?3 itself. we might find . as was pointed out in the previous chapter. (p. It is. far more likely that the two phases will neither coincide nor be in exact opposition. would be that of fig. its that fraction ot it a seconcflater than the other which would cause condensation at the exact instant the earlier to begin sound was FIG.

Students always would for the first be. 64 come together a rareand at the same moment faction is caused north and south . a condensation is thrown out east and west. what we should have expected sound. due to the compression of air between the prongs. (2) Condensation at the back and front of the prongs. fly away from each other the reverse process takes two simultaneous processes. And when the prongs place. is the technical name given to such phenomena as the when several vibration-systems occur simultaneously in a medium) are apt to regard it as purely theoretical. double the individual who meet time with Interference (which above. in which the black oblongs represent the two tops illustrate this : of the prongs. e. caused by the same Now these . 64. NE W SE S FIG. But it is open to any one to make acquaintance with its practical truth by experiments with a tuning-fork. the moment of striking) 1 i : ) Rarefaction on the outside of each prong . When a fork vibrates the prongs separate and come together again. Fig. Consequently _two_systems of vibration are communicated to the air at the moment the prongs have come close together (i.PHASE AND INTERFERENCE can start in order that the resultant volume it may be. svv 64 As the tops of the prongs in fig. will N NW.

as may be proved by any one who will strike a tuning-fork. It is probably safe to say. hold it vertically to his ear. yet never affects the quality. embraces practically all that could be considered of interest to the musical student. since any two sets of compound vibrations do not. as along the lines NE. re- But Fourier's Theorem establishes the sultant such a can be analysed. and along the line NW these two systems must cancel. . and remember that every individual sound made by every individual player and singer is producing different partials owing to difference in quality. or we have something sufficiently near silence to convince the listener of the reality of Interference. SE. we can say that the simple vibrations of individual partials do not eliminate each other should they happen to be in opposite phases. Consequently as a rarefaction spreads out from N westwards it will encounter an equal condensation travelling from w northwards . and when an angle presents either silence. that this branch of Acoustics awaits further research before any conclusions can be considered as final.140 PHASE AND INTERFERENCE prongs. and then revolve it. and chorus. resolve themselves into groups of simple vibration. and the complementary Ohm's Law lays down that the ear has the required analytical power. also. and what has been said on the subject of Interference. on meeting. SW. From this he drew the inference that the vibrations of overtones do not cancel each other that it . This is exactly what does occur. organ. Helmholtz came to the conclusion that though difference of phase. though little. by continually altering the amplitude of the resultant vibrations. we can form some notion of the bewildering complexity of the processes resultant in the air which combine these myriads of vibrations and bring this instantaneously to our ears for fact that into one analysis. -must start with phases in exact opposition. is to say. When a flat side is opposite the ear we have the itself full volume of sound. however. does continuously affect the intensity of sound. When we think of a big chord sounded by a large orchestra.

Let us now examine wave-curves. If a man and a child feet to the start walking simultaneously by putting their left ground at the same instant.^ ad libitzim : Man Child c^> ^ ^ FIG. differing slightly in pitch. e. and the child takes three double-steps (i. six strides) to the man's two. will look like 65 repeated . 65 The way step . Their tracks snow. but with strides of different length. AND BEATS WE the have now to examine what happens when two pure musical sounds. uniform. taking the slightly more complicated case of two waves whose lengths are in the proportion of 6 If : 5. it will be clear . a series of five. so long as their pace and stride are fig. begin at precisely same moment. reader should notice the important fact that at the halfpoint the diagram looks as if the walkers had fallen into but it is really the point where their phases are in exact opposition. line and then along the same (fig. at the in same instant and with the same foot the left. the steps man putting down his left foot as the child on to the right. we draw along 66) : a line AB a series of six uniform waves.CHAPTER XX CONSONANCE. Consider what happens when two people walk together at the same pace. then as the man begins his third double-step the child will be beginning its fourth. DISSONANCE.

into the same phase between A and B. If the frequencies were 10 and 12 there would be two beats per second. and finally will reach B when the amplitude is again almost double. but only at the points A and FIG.142 ( ) CONSONANCE. in opposite phases at ( ) That they cannot get B. If two assisted by the following illustration. garden swings are started together at different rates so that the longer it is . and two sets second. and will reach a point half-way where the amplitudes momentarily cancel. 66 to be the waves of two simple sounds we can see that between the coincidence of phase at A and the coincidence at B the resultant will start with an amplitude almost double that of either individual curve (in fig. selves. This means that when two sounds whose vibration-numbers bear the ratio 6 5 are simultaneousTy^sounded with equal force the intensity of the resultant will not be a constant and : steady quantityjJmMvill throb between a quantity ahnost-four times as great as that of either single sound and a quantity^so small as to be practically silence. Many and they may be completes 97 full students find the above process a little difficult to grasp. AND BEATS That the two wave systems are the half-distance . then 66 shows that we should get one beat per second. 66 would repeat themfig. The number of sounds is beats caused by any two simultaneous found by subtracting their frequencies. 66 As soon as we consider the curves of fig. would represent the process of each two notes with frequencies 97 and 100 will Similarly produce three beats per second. and so on. DISSONANCE. vibrations while the shorter completes 100. Each such throb is called a Beat. 66 the amplitudes are equal). If we take two imaginary sounds whose frequencies are 5 and 6. for obviously the curves of fig.

three : On any instrument or harmonium. And in the case of sound-waves these moments (which would obviously be seven if the ratio of the swings was 93 100) will cause the throbs which we call beats. Beats are sometimes intentionally used for definitely musical purposes. of a harmonium is held down together it with the semitone above intensity.. especially notes. and in the same direction as that from which they originally started. when gauging the pitch of very low In the case of pure musical sounds beats (!) between the tones themselves . the process at work in the air of an exactly similar nature. as in the Voix Celestes stop on the organ. . but rather wilt we do not hear a result of steady a swirling and throbbing sound which convince any one of the truth already enunciated that the intensity varies between zero and a quantity four times : as great as that of either individual sound. in which each note is each other. may arise (2) between their combination-tones. DISSONANCE. (2) may arise (3) between one prime and the overtones of the other . In the case of clangs beats (1) between the primes. produced by two pipes slightly out of tune with Tuners of instruments also make considerable use of beats. And though the the interval is throbbing becomes less noticeable as we widen or raise the pitch. Meanwhile the child the slower three times in the quicker . AND BEATS clear that the 143 two swings will start their gSih and joist vibration at the same instant. it is with sustained sounds. especially in the When the lowest C lower regions of the keyboard. swing has caught the child in and on each occasion both children were moving in the same direction. such as the organ very easy to hear the beats of small intervals. (4) between combination-tones." between the overtones of one and the overtones of the other .CONSONANCE.

i. but immediately we sharpen or flatten one of them arise. DISSONANCE. and it is ' Goodbeats. usual to attribute harshness of quality to this cause.i_l4 CONSONANCE. e. and each tuned to middle C. with something which will affect the relative intensity of the overtones and so and when modify or obscure the beats which cause the harshness. however. but are not unpleasant in fixing mous at a so long as they are few in number. when we reach . has come across a clarinet which is only Every organist bearable when used together with a flute. The interval at which this distance. voicing of an organ-pipe aims at eliminating such ' ' it fails we get a stop with a certain blatancy. x i y / At a lower pitch the beating-distance is greater than a minor 3rd. if two instruments producing pure tones. begin vibrating together. for instance. soon becomes definite. and then subsides until all trace of dissonance entirely disappears. no beats result. which is common knowledge to musicians. 135) in justification of the Tierce de Picardie. The effect of beats must be added to the causes already given (p. So long as the number of these is small comparison to the vibration -numbers of the notes the effect not unpleasant no one. at a higher pitch less and this explains the fact. objects to the Voix Celestes on the ground that it is is harsh or dissonant . and jhemaxinmm of dissonance occurs at about thejnturval nf njymitnne but the minor 3rd all dissonance has_vanjshed. As soon as we sharpen one of the notes beats occur. and disappearance takes place is called the Beatingin the region of middle C musicians are unaniit minor 3rd. . AND BEATS may also ' Beats arise between the overtones of a single clang. That is to say. are less dissonant in the-upper_ranges_than in the 4ewer^ and . but_as the interval between the notes asserts itself more positively up increased the unpleasantness to a point. thaLgmall intervals . Unpleasantness. All Dissonance is attributed to Beats. in unison they When two no in is pure musical sounds are if produce beats beats.

compound sounds. it which require a node is at that point. all brass instruments owe their brilliance and penetration to the presence of upper partials in great number and strength and these upper partials. bow is applied to the centre of the string. because of the beats' which may arise other than those of the prime tones. Similarly. to each other in pitch. produce amongst themselves beats in abundance. are absent. the beatingdistance cannot be placed at a minor 3rd in the region of middle C. has been established for us by physicists that one of the conditions of consonancen5eTweeit-twfr-nuLe& ly lhat tne It tion-fraction of the interval between them shall involve no odd number greater than If five. Beats arising between the overtones of a single clang are of essential In the case of two importance in determining quality. and consequently all the even -numbered partials. DISSONANCE. a matter of great importance whereabouts the hammer hits a piano-string. we desire. or clangs. On the other hand. then. to find the vibration-fractions of all the concords in an octave 2106 we have to find all the possible fractions K . and many experiments have been made in quest of the point that will destroy only undesirable overtones. consider that all the even -numbered partials are region of middle C. these the rule holds good that their and amongst beating-distance is a minor 3rd in the pipes are. produce a tone so lacking in richness as to be almost dull. if the enormously In the same way the string of a restricted.CONSONANCE. The reason is that when the centre point of the string is agitated it cannot be a node. absent from them we see that the opportunities for beats are violin or 'cello will. AND BEATS that a 145 chord for trombones must not be ' ' spaced as it might be for flutes. being close . every organist knows. as and when we Sounds from stopped of singular smoothness.

acquire dissonance in varying degree when the sounds forming the intervals are clangs. f Fourth. Octave. an interesting fact. Fifth. AND BEATS i between 5.146 CONSONANCE. this table we can make : a list of eight concords within the octave as follows Unison. 68) there are obviously several dissonant partials present. Minor 3rd.f intervals. 6. f . and : 2 which require no odd number greater than i These are ^. 8. 4. This is it obviously true of is the unison. 2. 7. f . . 67) that tne partials of the higher note introduce no sound that would not find a place amongst the partials of the lower. and in the case of the octave clear (fig. 67 in The though It is interval which comes next smoothness is the Fifth. The unison and octave are free from dissonance because the harmonic chords are the same. The above perfectly concordant where pure sounds are concerned. . | 4 5 x and f merely reduplicate and f ). though not of great importance to . f . 6th. FIG. DISSONANCE. in this (fig. 3. . 5. Major 3rd. 3> ? 6 51 8 y From 1. Minor Major 6th. f (any others with denominator (f 5 will exceed 2). f .

6th. x.CONSONANCE. 5. the resultant chord is a concord. six Lower interval and no more: . the : smoothness of the chord will depend on three relationships x to y y to 2 x to z When : lowest to middle note. y. within the octave. AND BEATS 147 musicians (since in such matters they rely on instinct and experience). 146. 2. that the various consonant intervals were arranged by Helmholtz follows 1. z. Fourth. Minor 3rd. 4. Of these there are. If there are three notes in Minor Chords. 3. the vibration-fractions of these three intervals are all : of them amongst the eight concordant intervals given on p. : middle to top note. a chord. major 3rd. lowest to top note. Fifth. : in order of comparative harmoniousness as Octave and unison. DISSONANCE. major 6th.

which passage . and the middle Tympanum ear. This is an air-chamber whose walls are almost entirely of bone. when they ear has three distinct sections. holes. which collects inches long) down which they this tube the vibrations strike closes the against the drum of the ear. The External Ear. which is sometimes called the to the Hammer bone. exceedingly way communicated to the Internal Ear. or Tympanum. and that this bag floats it contains a . and these will be dealt with in order. and is Internal Ear. and Internal. The construction of the Internal Ear is and it intricate. External. lies membrane covering the Stapes. the Fenestra ovalis. Middle. which both of them. then passes the vibration system on to the Middle Ear. and the Incus ^ is or Anvil. At the end of This consists of the Lobe.CHAPTER XXI IT is struction of the Ear. There is a passage to the throat (called the Eustachian Tube) and two small membrane-covered one round. is joined to the Tympanum by a series of three small bones the Malleus (attached to the Tympanum). between the other two and attached to Every vibration of the Tympanum is faithfully conveyed by this series of bones to the membrane covering the Fenestra in this ovalis. vibrations. or Stirrup bone (attached the Fenestra ovalis). Roughly. in order that the student only proposed to give the barest outline of the conmay form a general idea of what happens to air-vibrations finally reach the listener. called Fenestra rotunda and Fenestra ovalis. we may filled say that with a fluid called membranous bag Endolympk. and a tube (about i are directed. is still a matter of speculation its as to what are the specific functions of individual parts. The upper one of these. the other oval.

Reference has already been made to Fourier's Theorem. after many smackings of the a few of the constituents. organ. The vibrations are communicated from the membrane of the Fenestra ovalis to the perilymph.THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE HUMAN EAR in 149 a fluid called Pertlymph. can be analysed into a number of simple vibrations of definite relationship and Ohm's Law establishes the fact . from a glance at the resultant. and the trained ear of the expert will instantaneously and certainly declare so he has heard in a fraction of many facts about what a second that we may justifiably claim the ear to be. the most experienced taster could only. drums. If we mix together numerous kinds of food or drink. There are over 3. strings. . we were to mix together a large number of colours on a palette no human eye could. which is kept out of the middle ear by the membranes covering the round and oval apertures. the most delicate the human body. in accuracy of result not less than in and efficient organ of rapidity of working. giving about 400 to the octave within the limits of recognizable pitch. brass. which establishes the fact that any periodic vibration. and what not.000 of these fibres. and through the walls of the floating bag to the endolymph and the end of the auditory nerve has its tentacles embedded in the latter. suggest chord sounded by orchestra and chorus the average listener can immediately detect the presence of voices. however complex. and Helmholtz suggests that each is tuned to a note of a certain pitch and vibrates in sympathy with that pitch when the vibrations of such a note reach the inner ear. Basilar Membrane) is composed of a set of fibres (the Fibres Corft) of increasing lengths laid alongside one another of rather like the strips of glass or metal in a child's Celesta. One membrane through which the vibrations must pass (called the . But if we hear a big lips. that the ear can and does so analyse the complex vibrations presented to If it. do more than guess at the presence of a few individual shades.

62.INDEX Abscissa. 31.55. Geometrical progression. Associated waves. 59. c. Bassoon. 86. Bugle. 148. 17. Beats. in pipes. 118. 149. 122. 131. 142. Curves of position. Basilar Membrane. musical. 17. c. Flue-pipes. Antinodes. 122. 92. 84. 21. 85. 48. 63. c. xvii. 108. Brass instruments. p. 66. Eustachian Tube. p. -waves. 74. progression. Echo. Harmonic chord. vii. Enharmonic Diesis. reeds. manometric. xvii. c. Fundamental note. c. p. . Incus. xvii. Apparent motion. the human. Gallon's whistle. 81. p. 55. 137. 148. Harmonics. 122. 92. 40. Differential tones. Hammer bone. PP. Indices. motion. c. Clarinet. 17. 141. Flute. 145. 37. 149. ix. Fourier's theorem. 93. xx. 13. Flames. Cycloscope. 98. Generators. -vibrations. comma of. 60. Clang. Consonance. 119. 122. 20. Cents. xx. Dissonance. 84. 23. 30. Double Syren. Cumulative impetus. Absolute pitch. 14. Endolymph. Anvil bone. 140. 17. 148. Fenestra. c. rotunda and ovalis. p. 19. 148. Concords. 20. 33. xxi. Arithmetical progression. 148. Interference. 37. 133. 60. 122. 148. 74. 93. limits of. 146. 36. c. iv. Chladni's plates. Condensation. and c. 141. 23. Flatness. Heat. 32. Concertina. p. Comma of Didymus. 67. Diesis. Corti's fibres. Combination tones. p. 131. Audibility. 45. Beating distance. 36. xvi. 148. of air. Equal Temperament. 1 its effect on sound. ISOHigh sounds. Direct variation. 149. 148. External ear. Addition of intervals. p. 144. Ear. Internal ear. Doppler's principle. 60. 15. 55. 52. 80. 66. 99. Free reeds. 84. Frequency. 60. 66. ix. p. Hooke's Law. 61. of Pythagoras. Crest. Amplitude. Didymus. 149. 85. Diapason normal. Air elasticity of. c. Elasticity. 131. 93. Fibres of Corti. 129. Graphic method. 88. Intensity. 85. p. French pitch. Density. c. 148. 31. Instruments.

Resonators. of. 24. 129. Ohm's Law. 113. 118. c. p. Philosophic. Pendulum-motion. 72. Key colour. Laws of Intensity. 103. Length of air. 35. Pt. 17. 66. xi. p. 84. 17.waves. Stapes. 26. 36. Reinforcement. 37. vii. p. c. 91. c. beating. Potential energy. 140. 29. absolute. of notes. ix. vibrations of. 36. 125. Pipes. p. vi. Major tone. 66. 137. Mathematical variation. . Mass. p. p. p. 67. p. 53. Perilymph. c. 45. ii. 48. x. Noise. nature of. Open pipes. 46. Modulus. 65. of. c. Sound-boards. Malleus. intensity nature of. 73. nature of. 61. 77. 49. c. 73. 107. Monochord. pitch of. 15. New Philharmonic. Sound. 17. 60. c. 17. Overtones. Table of. p. c. 33. Prime tone. Isochronous motion. 36. 55. Koenig's flames. 80. 21. Plates. Quality. p.INDEX Intonation systems. Standards of pitch. Minor tone. 30. xv. Percussion. Phase. Siren. 17. 14. 55. 23. transmission of. p. 21. 34. 95. length of. 65. free. Chladni's. Limits of audibility. viii. Medium. 33. Refraction of sound. velocity of. Oscillation. xiv. 26. ii. 65. 59. 29. 45. 91. Ratios of vibration-numbers. xv. Ordinate. iii. Sonometer. Mariotte's Law. 145. Reflection of sound. Musical instruments. 23. 93. production quality of. 60. 33. Philosophic pitch. Overtone beats. 17. Pythagorean comma. Temperament. 60. p. Ratchet wheel. p. Sharpness. Partial tones. v. 37. reflection of. c. 49. 131. Pitch. refraction of. Resonance. 138. Reeds. instruments Perfect intonation. 17. Mixtures. 49. 148. Kinetic energy. 34. 129. 91. 57. 92. Mathematical progressions. p. Just intonation. 107. c. 107. Resultant tones. 103. Production of sound. VI. Motion. Opposition of phase. 15. 10. Savart's wheel. 16. 68. Inverse variation. standards Lissajous. Nomenclature Oboe. Middle ear. 39. c. Manometric flames. of. 149. 80. limits of audible. 148. Mean-tone Temperament. 148. 92. Longitudinal vibrations. 41. 48. c. Low sounds. 76. Reed instruments. Klang. 34. 13. c. 37. of. 19. simple. 36. 37. 53. Position. 149. Nodes. 58. Measurement of pitch. 95. 85. 38. Simple sounds. 41. Loudness. Periodic motion. Nature of motion. curves of. Rarefaction. 48. 55.

amplitude of. Strings. 148. PRINTED IN ENGLAND AT THE OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS . 39 ff. sympathetic. Gallon's. 14. Wind and sound. 98. Toothed wheel. 144. 57. INDEX Variation. of plates. 56. direct and inverse. 92. Vibrations. 51. Summation tones. Triangle. 81. 129. Voice. 31. 95. 65. Violin. nature of. 131. 19. Weber's Law. c. 76. 20. 118. 47. 16.152 Stirrup bone. xvii. Transverse vibrations. 84. True intonation. p. Trough. vibration Subtraction of intervals. of. 55. 128. Tonometer. Air-. 143. Pythagorean. 24. Timbre. 37. Tone. xii. major and minor. 36. 131. compound. Mean-tone. Wolf. Tierce de Picardie. Temperament. Volume. Tension. Voix celestes. Twelfth root of two. 77. 95. 21. 68. Wave. Velocity. Table of partial tones. 31. Waves. 144. Vibration-fractions. 148. 109. 33. 91. p. c. Vibroscope. Equal. Vibration-numbers. 1 8. 34. 99. Whistle. Tartini's harmonics. simple. 53. 86. 57. Sympathetic vibration. 14. Voicing. Temperature. 145. c. p. 25. Tympanum. 73. 74. Stopped pipes. 91. 47. 135. 122. xiii.

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