General Resources for

KNW2305 / PHYS 1320 / MPSY 5340 / PHYS 3320

Musical Acoustics

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Link to special material from Professor Baker

Presentation by Bertrand Cattiaux (Liourdes, France) PDF 46Mb

Handout on Meyerson Organ

Webpage on Meyerson Symphonic Center

Webpage on Detroit Symphony Orchestra Classroom

Video link for first week of class is here:

2014 Music & Science Symposium:

Prof. Tunks' presentation of the Ear in PowerPoint (1.4M) and PDF (0.7M)

Student project: Intereactive PDF diagram of the ear: PDF x.xM

Prof. Tunks' notes on scales and temperament (6 pages scanned: 0.6M PDF File)

But what is the Fourier Transform? A visual introduction. YouTube Video: 20.56min)

Student notes on scales and temperament (4 pages: x.xM PDF File)

"Minute Physics" video on scales and temperament ( 4:19min video File)
"Powers of 10" Classic video: ( 9:00min video File)
The physics of musical scales: Theory and experiment ( 9 pages PDF)
32 Metronome Synchronization (4:00 video)
A tiny rolling wooden ball plays Bach (3:04 video)
Clarinet-Flute hybrids (Flarinet, Clute): standing waves and harmonics (2:39 video)
How Flutes Work - Native American Flute (14:06 video)

Widespread use of MP3 players has experts concerned (1 page scanned: 0.24M PDF File)

Term sheets PDF (388K) or Word (90K) formats

Fundamental Units Diagram PDF (15K)

References: A tone outside the audible range of hearing for most people over the age of 30. This means that you can get phone calls and receive text messages in class or school without teachers hearing it.

The Music Instinct: Researchers and scientists from a variety of fields are using groundbreaking techniques that reveal startling new connections between music and the human mind, the body and the universe. Together with an array of musicians from rock and rap to jazz and classical, they are putting music under the microscope.

What is the scale of the universe: Here is a really cool applet. The Scale of the Universe

The idea is similar to the Powers of Ten

Java Standing Wave Applet courtesy of Robert Hart

Fourier Synthesis Java Applet: or
the whole collection of java applets

  • Fourier Transforms

  • Resonance of square plate A great illustration of resonances of a square plate, and also a Ripple Tank. (Shown to me by Spencer Mabrito)

    Black Hole Strikes Deepest Musical Note Ever Heard Astronomers have detected the deepest note ever generated in the cosmos, a B-flat flying through space like a ripple on an invisible pond. No human will actually hear the note, because it is 57 octaves below the keys in the middle of a piano.

     other miscellaneous web sites

    The winner of the "coolest video award" which was shown to me by Peter Havey.

    1.3Mb MPEG Video

    "Every so often, just the right combination of conditions and events occur to create an unbelievable event-in this case an F-18 passing through the sound barrier. Not only were the water vapor, density and temperature just right, but there just happened to be a camera in the vicinity to capture the moment. The F-18 is actually in transonic flight, with normal shock waves emanating from behind the canopy and across the wings and fuselage. The condition will last for only an instant, and once supersonic flow exists completely around the aircraft, sharp-angled sonic cones replace the normal shock waves. The odds of getting a shot like this are

    Another cool video: Watch 32 discordant metronomes achieve synchrony

    A TED talks: David Byrne: How architecture helped music evolve

    Perkins Chapel:

    Website of Dr. George Baker (

    Perkins Chapel (DMN Reviw of George Baker April 2001)
    Perkins Chapel (Dallas Guide Live Reviw of George Baker September 2008) broken link

    CD's Recorded at Perkins Chapel:

     MARCEL DUPRE: Organ Works, Vol. 13
        * Performer(s): Dupre, Baker, Aeolian-Skinner, Schudi
        * Label: Naxos -  8.554542 
        * Audio CD (October 21, 2003)
        * ASIN: B0000BX5KC

    Pierre PINCEMAILLE  - Improvisations
        Solstice Music:  SOCD203


    Examples of Temperament

    Recommended by David Brown, RPT, Piano Technician, Meadows School of the Arts (SMU)

    5 Lectures on the Acoustics of Pianos