Mathematics and Music: Vibrating Strings and Overtones
Lunch with a Member (IAS Friends), Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, USA
March 03, 2017
What makes a guitar, a piano and a cello sound different? Sound consists of oscillating waves whose frequency determines its pitch, so how can two different instruments play two identical notes, at the same pitch, and yet, sound distinct? The short answer is: overtones. In this talk, Dr. Jauslin will discuss the mathematical description of a vibrating string and explain how this vibration can be described as the superposition of a fundamental mode and overtones, and how these account for the timbre of the sound produced by the string.
This talk was filmed, and the video is available here.