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Wednesday, July 10 • 16:10 - 16:30
NAME THAT TIMBRE! AN INTERACTIVE DEMONSTRATION FOR TEACHING CONCEPTS OF HARMONIC CONTENT IN MUSICAL SOUNDS

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A fundamental, yet nontrivial, concept in analyzing sounds is the notion that most sounds consist of combinations of single-frequency tones. In an advanced physics or engineering course, this concept can be described rigorously through the use of Fourier analysis. For a less technically trained audience, however, the concept is more effectively conveyed using audio demonstrations. One such demonstration is to filter the recording of a steady note from a bowed or blown musical instruments such that individual harmonics are heard in succession; the same recording is also filtered so that harmonics are progressively added throughout the note. The first version helps people understand the nature of the "building blocks" of the note: that they are pure tones of specific frequencies. The second version dramatically conveys how the individual components sum to create the familiar sound a particular instrument. This paper describes an enhanced version of this demonstration that actively engages an audience or class. The activity is structured as a game, similar to the the classic television show "Name That Tune". Whereas the object of the original game show was to identify a familiar tune after hearing only a few notes, this activity has audience members compete to identify an instrument after hearing the fewest component harmonics. An assessment of the efficacy of this activity in an introductory college course on musical acoustics, as well as in public outreach demonstrations, will be presented.

Moderators
OR

Olivier Robin

Research professional, Groupe d'acoustique de l'université de Sherbrooke

Authors

Wednesday July 10, 2019 16:10 - 16:30 EDT
Outremont 7
  T13 Acoustical education, SS01 Educ in ac: catching attention …