Abstract

Violins are some of the oldest stringed instruments in history and Stradivari violins are considered to be the most superior of these instruments. However, it is still unknown why these instruments are considered to sound better than any other historic or modern instrument. While other studies have looked at the different components of these instruments to find differences in construction, little has been done to determine if there is a measurable difference in sound quality between these violins or even if there is a perceived quality by audience members. By using LoggerPro® to test the harmonic content present in the open strings of thirteen modern violins varying in price, this study aims to show if there is any difference between these instruments. The total percent sound for the fundamental frequency and first three harmonics were collected and plotted to show patterns. Specifically looking at the D and A open strings of the violins, differing patterns between selected price categories were observed. The D strings showed an increase in the third harmonic as price increased, while the A string showed a decrease in each subsequent harmonic regardless of price. These observed patterns indicate that there is a measurable difference in the sound quality.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2012

Mentor

Martin L. Brock

Department/Professional Affiliation

Chemistry

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Department

Chemistry

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