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Analysis of Flute Control Parameters: A Comparison Between a Novice and an Experienced Flautist

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The sound produced by flutes depends not only on the physical characteristics of the instrument but also on the control exerted by the musician. The latter is very important in some instruments of the flute family, especially in those where the air jet is shaped with the lip of the player. Some of the most relevant parameters controlled by the flautist, such as the distance from the lips to the sharp edge, the shape of the lips hole and the speed of the jet, are experimentally measured in this paper. Data produced by an experienced and a novice flautist are collected, analyzed and compared. Subjects are studied under normal musical playing conditions, playing phrases made out of simple musical intervals with subjective dynamics. Images of performer's lips are taken together with measurements of the blowing pressure and the sound radiated by the instrument. Data analysis shows remarkable differences between the two subjects. The optimized coordination of several parameters in order to obtain a desired musical response, coupling between performer's mouth and the instrument, as well as the efficient use of the available resources are some of the differences observed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-09-01

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  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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