Course Overview

PHYS 1320 / MPSY 5340

Musical Acoustics

Spring, 1999

Link to grade summary sheets


Fredrick I. Olness (office 103A FS, phone 768-2500)

Thomas W. Tunks (office 209 PAB, phone 768-3726)


LECTURE: Tuesday & Thursday, 2:00 - 3:20, Fondren Science Rm.123

LAB: Friday (1-3pm) or (3-5pm), Fondren Science Rm.25

BEWARE: On occasion, lecture and lab may be held in different rooms.

Go to Course Schedule: Go to lab schedule Go to lab description


Backus. The Acoustical Foundations of Music (2nd ed.), Norton


Selected books will be placed on reserve.

GRADES: Components are:

PHYS 1320

MPSY 5340

exams (50% each)

daily quizzes (20%)

Laboratory (30%)

exams (50% each)

daily quizzes (20%)

paper & presentation (20%)

Laboratory (10%)

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".