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Physics of a Saxophone

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Sofi Goode

on 27 May 2013

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Transcript of Physics of a Saxophone

Discrepancies in my saxophone Material Conical
Shape Bell Bend Dual Nature 0 + - = 9 8 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 c To-Do List: - Make your physics presentation
- Dude this thing actually works on a really complex and in-depth level!
- Look at your saxophone in an entirely new light Saxophone Fun Facts - Make by Adolphe Sax in 1846
- Only woodwind instrument that is made
out of metal
- Woodwind/brass hybrid, can be played as
a brass instrument
- Widely popular in jazz music because of
this duality
- One of the newer instruments! Making Sound - stream of high pressure is blown in through the mouthpiece
- reed acts as a valve, causes oscillation of both air and pressure throughout the instrument Conical Shape Area of the tube changes drastically, causing reflection of sound power A horn with a saxophone's measurements With all holes closed,
a saxophone plays a Bb3 Length: L = 25 inches = 0.635 m
Speed of sound: v = 344,5 m/s
Fundamental frequency: n = 1

f = nv/2L
f = (1 x 344.5)/ (2 x 0.635)
f = 271 Hz

frequency of a Bb3 (concert C#4) is 277.18 Hz Famous Saxophonists Charlie Parker
Kenny Garrett
Jimmy Dorsey
Johnny Hodges
Art Pepper
Cannonball Adderley Physics of the Alto Saxophone Fundamental Frequencies Open-closed tube - open at the bell
- space between reed and mouthpiece acts as closed
- aperture is small
- pressure forced wave back longer wavelengths reflect further down the pipe resonant frequencies are the same as if it were an open-open pipe f = nv/2L Right Amount of Pressure Not enough pressure: Too much pressure: flow of air is not enough to create acoustic sound waves; breathiness as air bounces between reed and mouthpiece thin part of reed bends under pressure, closing the aperture;
choked sound, lessens as reed bends Playing Different Notes open holes serve as an exit for the sound wave,
the pressure node moves up the instrument. semitone: 6% shorter Effects of the Bell helps sound radiate
out instead of being
reflected; increases
volume* *only works when the wavelength is smaller than the bell The same fingerings can be used to play different notes L = 0.635 m
v = 344.5 m/s
n = 2 f = (2 x 344.5) / (2 x 0.635)
f = 542.52 Hz Bb3 F6 Standard saxophone range Bb4 (concert C#5) has a frequency of 554.37 Hz L = 0.635 m
v = 344.5 m/s
n = 3 f = (3 x 344.5) / (2 x 0.635)
f = 813.78 Hz F5 (concert G#5) has a frequency of 830.61 Hz The Short Short Short Version
By Sofi Goode PVC Piping vs Brass Works Cited "Alto Saxophone." Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2013.

"Frequencies of Musical Notes." Michigan Technological
University, n.d. Web. 27 May 2013.

Moore, Guy. "Pipes, Resonances, and Standing Waves."
Lecture. McGill Physiscs. Web. 27 May 2013.

Schmidt-Jones, Catherine. "Closed-End Air Columns." The
Physics Classroom. Conxetions, n.d. Web. 27 May 2013.

Wolfe, Joe. "Saxophone Acoustics: An Introduction." School
of Physics at UNSW, Sydney, Australia. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2013. Brass gives the instrument a "bright sound"
- harmonic content added by the vibration of the metal itself
PVC will vibrate much more because it is lighter.
- More harmonic content creates a tinny and squeaky sound Bell vs No Bell - bell serves to make the instrument louder

- contributes to bright sound

- doesn't directly affect pitch Conical vs Cylindrical - functions as open-closed
- changes pitches
- fewer harmonics due to closed end nature Bent vs. Straight - bend is purely aesthetic

- convenience oriented

- does not change the sound of the saxophone South Pas Saxophonists Howard Crawford
Taylor Plenn
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