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The Influence of Bow Pressure on the Self-Excited Vibrations of Stringed Instruments

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Using the simple bowed oscillator it will be shown that the self-excited oscillation consists of sliding and sticking periods. Helmholtz's representation of the bowed string as a free motion into which the friction forces at the bow do not enter are then presented. Raman's effort to calculate these forces on the premise that the motion is known beforehand is not physically accurate. Contrary to this Lazarus accurately took the friction force into consideration but only by assuming an eight lumped element model.

The present paper explains clearly that through the existence of bow friction the rounded bend in the Helmholtz motion is sharpened during the passing of the bow by the friction and again rounded during reflection at the bridge. This behaviour permits the formulation of conditions for a stationary cycle, whereby the secondary waves excited at the bow travel in the opposite direction to the Helmholtz motion and are assumed to have no systematic influence on the cycle, operating only in a statistical manner. The results show that in accordance with experiment the slopes of the slip velocity-time curves at the bowing point increase with the pressure and with it comes also an increase in the contents of overtones.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 1974

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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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