PHYS 1320 / MPSY 5340 / PHYS 3320

Musical Acoustics

Spring 2012

(This course will next be taught in Fall 2012)

Link to general resources

Final Review Material

Suggestions for projects

Sample projects:

Katrina & Tyler

Special dates:


Professor George Baker

(Guest Lecturer for Phys 1320)

Perkins Chapel:
Organ Demonstration/Performance:
(Counts for 2 quizzes)

Make-up assignment if you missed Organ Demonstration (Due April. 20)

Tuesday March 20, 2012
(class time: 2:00-3:20 pm)
Room 110 Junkins Building
Professor Scott Douglas

From Pythagoras to Walt Disney:

(in class: 2:00-3:20 pm)
Russ Berger

President, Berger Design Group:
Special lecture presentation

Thursday 22 March 2012
(Meadows Room 2040: 2:00-3:20 pm)
David Brown

Piano Technician:
Special lecture presentation

Link to Grade sheets: Lecture and Lab

Rotating Lab Assignments for Students 2010 (PDF)

Link to the PreLab and Lab Assignments (in PDF format)

3320 Physics Homework Assignments


Fredrick I. Olness (office 201 Fondren Science, phone 768-2500)

Thomas W. Tunks (office 2122 OAC, phone 768-3454)


George Baker Associate University Organist and Director of University Worship Music at Perkins Chapel


LECTURE: Tuesday & Thursday, 2:00 - 3:20, Fondren Science Rm. 158

LAB: Monday (1-3pm), (3-5pm) or (5-7pm), Fondren Science Rm. 60

Labs begin Monday January 30, 2012

Go to Course & Lab Schedule:

Go to syllabus

Go to lab Go to lab description


Note: Beginning Fall 2008 we are switching to the Backus text:

John Backus (Author)

"The Acoustical Foundations of Music" Hardcover: 384 pages

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 2 edition (December 1977)


Selected books will be placed on reserve.

GRADES: Components are:

Phys 1320

Phys 3320

MPSY 5340

exams (50% each)

daily quizzes (20%)

Laboratory (30%)

exams (40% each)

daily quizzes (20%)

Homework (40%)

exams (50% each)

daily quizzes (20%)

paper & presentation (20%)

Laboratory (10%)

GROUP PROJECT (PHYS 1320 Only): Students can work in groups of 2 or 3 on a project of their choice. Suggestions for projects

PAPER & PRESENTATION (MPSY 5340 Only): Each student will be responsible for writing a paper 10 to 15 pages in length. You may, if you choose, submit your project in the form of a web page(s). The topic should be either the acoustics (psychoacoustics) of your own instrument or another acoustics topic of your choice. Presentations of this type are usually enhanced by a demonstration.

COURSE CONTENT: We will cover both the acoustics (physical sound properties) and the psychoacoustics (psychological, perceptual properties) of music. Topics will include sound in general, sound of musical instruments (including voice), sound characteristics of rooms, electronic production (synthesis) and reproduction of sound.

DEMONSTRATIONS: Demonstrations will be done in class sessions throughout the semester. You are encouraged to make suggestions about interesting ways to demonstrate the phenomena we are studying. Each class discussion will FOLLOW the reading of appropriate material, meaning that you will be expected to have completed the reading PRIOR to the class session for which it is listed. The same for tape listening assignments.

ASSIGNMENTS: Various problem sheets will be distributed for you to complete. Your completion of the problems is optional, and will be for your own benefit. As such, the problem sheets will not be graded. Other assignments, such as completing lab tasks and doing outside investigations will be considered under "participation".