Physics of Sound

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Bear, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    Thxs for all the quick responses... It was on the tip on my mind because I've been through the discussion before but I couldn't find my notes. Thanks guys.. hehe... test tomorrow.
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Absolutely correct, Fred! A fun combination to play with is a natural trumpet in c and an old Stroboconn, (one with twelve tone-wheels). If you play an e, the tuner will show the e as being flat, but if you look at the "c" wheel it is standing stock-still, because that "too low" e is a perfect major third! That is why those guys that point to their tuner and "prove" their e is not too sharp in a c major chord tend to get mobbed by Vulgano Brothers!
  3. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    Good discussion...

    Sorry for not catching this. School has started and I find I have to deal with a lto fo stuff (gigs, jam sessions, family, trying to support CD sales, etc), so my activity will be a bit less until I catch some breaks.

    Fred's discussion is quite good. We are dealing with ratios of frequencies and percentages. A trombone or slide trumpet is naturally functional on this matter. Each successive slide postion is progressively longer than the last. If we made marks on the slide to have it play in tune in each position, we'll find that they are not equidistant apart. Pushing valves down in combination doesn't address this. This is why we have a thumb saddle and a push ring on the third slide.

    A good book to check out is "The Acoustiucal Foundations of Music" by John Backus. It's a bit hard to find but he explains this very nicely and with some clear graphics. If you can't find that, check out Tom Rossing's book, "The Science of Sound." He cites Backus, but he also addresses this very nicely.

  4. Liad Bar-EL

    Liad Bar-EL Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Jerusalem, Israel
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Hi Liad!
    you show 2 different cases with your pictures.
    The pretzel is a real natural trumpet (no holes). You take what you get here. The 4th space E sounds flat to modern ears, their is no real F or F#-there is one note in between, the A above the staff is flat too. Playing in tune means lipping up and down just about everything.
    The coiled trumpet has holes (vents) in it and is a relatively modern invention (the first example that I have ever read about was the in early sixties-I think Walter Holy and the horn maker Finke from Germany experimented around with this). The physics of vented trumpets is very complex. I remember an experiment in the 70s with Ed Tarr's natural trumpet in D, the calculation was 3 or 4 pages long. This trumpet only had one vent - used for both the F and A.
    My vented natural trumpet behaves differently depending on the crook inserted. The crooks have the vents in them - definitely need to practice to make this work!
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2006
  6. Liad Bar-EL

    Liad Bar-EL Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Jerusalem, Israel
    Thanks for your information. You are very well versed in trumpets, I see.

    Here is Walter Holy playing it and some info regarding him.


    Gottfried Reiche seemingly didn't have holes in his.

    It was seemingly hard to play as he died an unnatural death:

    "On precisely this day the highly skilled and most artistic musician and Stadtpfeifer, Herr Gottfried Reiche, the Leucopetra-Misnicus and senior member of the municipal company of musicians in this place, suffered a stroke as he was going home and dropped dead in the Stadtpfeifer-Allee not far from his house where he was taken. The reason for this was on account of the enormous strain he suffered the night before while blowing [the trumpet] for the royal music, his condition having been greatly aggravated from the smoke given off by the torch-lights."
  7. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
  8. Liad Bar-EL

    Liad Bar-EL Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Jerusalem, Israel
    That article is too much for me all at once. What I got out of it is that he is primarily talking about length of tubing and how it affects the pitch. If I missed something in there please tell me for I did not see info concerning the width of the tubbing as it may affect the pitch. We are talking about cubic space here.

    Andy Taylor says that the width of tubing also affects the pitch......tuning in particular. He has stated that making a medium bore horn will be better in tune than a large bore horn.

    Now, back to that article............where is my magnifying glass? :D

    Liad Bar-EL
  9. Liad Bar-EL

    Liad Bar-EL Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Jerusalem, Israel
    Just for your information while thinking about the physics of sound and of which I found quite interesting when I was doing a recording in Jerusalem..................I compared the sound waves of the Trumpet next to the sound waves of the Shofar and they both are very much different. The sound waves of the Trumpet are very smooth and evenly dispersed whereas the sound waves of the Shofar are very pointed, sharp and uneven.

    This made editing difficult for the Shofar and easy for the trumpet.

    Liad Bar-EL
  10. rjzeller

    rjzeller Forte User

    Mar 7, 2005
    Rochester, MN
    I like the trombone slide analogy the best, I think it lends an easy visualization to the problem of valved instruments. Basically, the toobing required to reach a pitch increased geometrically as you descend. It's not a matter of adding 1+2+3, but rather 1+2.1+3.2. You could try to compensate by making the third valve longer permanently, but then you run into problems on different valve combinations. Thus, as was stated so well before, the ring and saddle on the third and first valves.

    hmm....maybe a six valve trumpet would help???

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