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The Bow on a String: Bow Vibrations Detected with Ferroelectret Sensors

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The interaction between a bowed string instrument and its player is conveyed by the bow, the vibrational properties of which can be measured either separately on the bow or during the bowing procedure. Here, two piezoelectric film sensors, made of a ferroelectret material, are installed on a violin bow, one sensor at the tip and one at the frog. With these sensors, a violin is played under normal conditions, and the signals are analysed. The features in the resulting spectrograms are identified as string harmonics and longitudinal bow-hair resonances. The bow-hair sections on both sides of the bow-string contact exhibit separate resonances which are observed as absorption dips in the spectra. Owing to the sensor positions at the bow-hair terminations, it can be inferred that the two bow-hair sections act as mutual vibration absorbers. From a regression of the observed resonances, the longitudinal bow-hair velocity can be obtained. With additional film sensors under the violin bridge, body vibrations were also detected providing further details of the coupling mechanisms.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2018

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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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