Pipes and Horns

  • Thomas D. Rossing
  • Neville H. Fletcher


The wave propagation phenomena in fluids that we have examined in previous chapters have referred to waves in infinite or semi-infinite spaces generated by the vibrational motion of some small object or surface in that space. We now turn to the very different problem of studying the sound field inside the tube of a wind instrument. Ultimately, we shall join together the two discussions by considering the sound radiated from the open end or finger holes of the instrument, but for the moment our concern is with the internal field. We begin with the very simplest cases and then add complications until we have a reasonably complete representation of an actual instrument. At this stage, we will find it necessary to make a digression, for a wind instrument is not excited by a simple source, such as a loudspeaker, but is coupled to a complex pressure-controlled or velocity-controlled generator—the reed or air jet—and we must understand the functioning of this before we can proceed. Finally, we go on to treat the strongly coupled pipe and generator system that makes up the instrument as played.


Input Impedance Characteristic Impedance Musical Instrument Pipe Axis Wall Loss 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas D. Rossing
    • 1
  • Neville H. Fletcher
    • 2
  1. 1.Physics DepartmentNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA
  2. 2.Department of Physical Sciences Research School of Physical Sciences and EngineeringAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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