Interesting Links and Material to Help You Out
Physics of Music/Sound -- Reference Web Sites
This webpage (credit for which goes almost entirely to Dr. Richard Berg)
contains links to web sites with reference material
related to PHYS102: PHYSICS OF MUSIC, an introductory course for
non-science students offerecd at the University of Maryland. No attempt
has been made to evaluate these sites or to rate their complexity, so the
material therein may not be entirely suitable for this class
level. However, inclusion here does imply that the material is correct
and useful for those seeking information at the level provided.
Check for other links in
Comments after Lectures which is a separate
webpage for most of my "extra" notes.
physics of musical
instruments: a brief history, by Dr. Brian Blood, sponsored by the
Dolmetsch company (makers of recorders). Nice survey of the great
scientists who contributed to the development of musical instruments over
the past 2500 years or so.
Vibration Animations, Dan Russell, Ph.D., Associate Professor of
Applied Physics at Kettering University in Flint, MI
Applets by Paul Falstad, including several on mechanical vibrations,
interference, and Fourier synthesis.
Soundry: Harmonics Appliet Simple applet that allows you to vary the
harmonics and listen to the resulting complex sound waves. Click here for the main indsx to
The Soundry and othaer interesting materials.
Applets by B. Surendranath Reddy, very nice
simulations with easy-to-operate controls.
for Acoustics Education, by Victor Sparrow of the Pennsylvania State
University Graduate Program in Acoustics. Very nice set of animations done
Applet: Mass on Spring, presented by MichiganState
University. Nice motion and plotting graphics.
qlam.com: Nice lattice of masses connected by springs
that can be excited by moving oneof the masses to show vibrations in the lattice.
Virtual Laboratory: The Pendulum, by Franz-Josef
Elmer, University of Basel, Switzerland. Includes a lecture component to explain the theory.
Taiwan Normal University Virtual Physics Laboratory; select
"Waves." Contains a nice Fourier synthesis applet and many more.
illusions - Endlessly rising melodies: The Shepard effect, University
of Bonn, Germany (http://www.uni-bonn.de/~uzs083/akustik.html)
C. R. Nave, Georgia State University
University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Physics in Speech, by Joe Wolfe, University of
New South Wales, Sydney, Australia: Examples of helium voice with good explanation.
Article: Acoustics Experiment Shows Why It's So Hard to Make Out the Heroine's Words at the
Opera, by Bertram Schwarzschild (Physics Today, March 2004). Word or PDF format.
The following are links to two Physics and Music lectures presented by Prof. Abraham Katzir of Tel Aviv
University. The lectures include lots of nice demonstrations. Unfortunately for many of us, they are in Hebrew.
Physics Simulations in Java (http://www.myphysicslab.com/index.html)
Acoustics/Physics of Sound Booklist (Basic Level), lists a
large number of basic level text and reference books. Most can be purchased from this web site.
Acoustics & Vibrations Booklist (Advanced), from the World-Wide Web
Virtual Library, including lists of University and other acoustics research labs with their areas of research interest.
Promenade 'round the Cochlea, an
informative commercial web site discussing sound and the ear; contains a nice reference list.
Standard Pitch Or
Concert Pitch For Pianos, a brief history of tuning, list of
historical pitch levels, and list of the frequencies of all keys of the
piano, presented by the U. K. Piano Page.
Microtonality, a long list of links to web sites discussing a great
variety of tuning issues, including history, Western and non-Western
instruments, and Baroque temperaments.
ACOUSTICS OF THE PIANO, a five lecture series by experts in the field
describing the important features of piano acoustics. This is an
excellent set of lectures, and includes a set of audio examples
comparing the sounds of a variety of historical instruments. EXCELLENT!
120 Years of Electronic
Music discusses the development of electrical and electronic musical
instruments, from the 1870s to the 1990s. Many illustrations.
On-line list of acoustics web sites:
for Teaching Acoustics, compiled by Tom Rossing, January 2001
main class description webpage
Go to Alan Peel's Home Page (which will probably not be a directly
useful resource for Physics 102!)
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2008 subject to change