Measurement Techniques

  • Thomas Moore
Part of the Springer Handbooks book series (SHB)


The measurements normally required to understand the physics of musical instruments, including the human voice, usually fall into one of three categories: measuring the airborne sound, measuring the deflection of the surface of an instrument, or measuring the input impedance. This chapter introduces the most common measurement techniques that provide information on these three physical parameters with an emphasis on the first two, which are the measurements most commonly desired by musical acousticians. The chapter begins with a discussion of airborne sound and how it is sensed. Specifically, several types of microphones are introduced followed by a discussion of some of the techniques that rely on sensing by microphones. A review of the techniques for measuring and visualizing deflection shapes is then presented. These techniques range from observing nodal lines using simple Chladni patterns to visualizing deflection shapes using electronic speckle pattern interferometry. The topic of impedance measurement is addressed next, with discussions of both measurements of the input impedance of wind instruments and the measurement of mechanical impedance. This review is not meant to be a complete analysis of each measurement technique. Instead, it is meant to serve as an introduction to the most commonly used techniques and provide references for the interested reader to pursue further study. The advent of new technologies continually changes the equipment that is available to the scientist, but the underlying physical principles remain relevant.


brass instrument analysis system


charge-coupled device


decorrelated electronic speckle pattern interferometry


electronic speckle pattern interferometry


frequency response function


laser Doppler vibrometry


micro-electric mechanical system


near-field acoustic holography


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. of PhysicsRollins CollegeWinter ParkUSA

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