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From Breath to Sound: Linking Respiratory Mechanics to Aeroacoustic Sound Production in Flutes

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This paper combines measurements from two different experimental set-ups (Montréal and Paris) in order to provide a global view, from breath to sound, of one flautist playing the flute. The main goal of the Montréal experiment was to provide data on the flautist's respiratory behavior during flute playing while the aim of the Paris experiment was to gather data for hydrodynamical and aeroacoustical analyses of the flute playing control parameters. The same professional standard player was studied in both experiments. Both locations included sound and mouth pressure recordings. In addition, Montréal measurements included: chest wall compartment volumes (with optoelectronic plethysmography) and the main respiratory muscle electrical activation. In Paris, additional direct measurements included lip opening area and the lip distance to the blowing hole of the flute. Global descriptions of flute playing, from the respiratory to hydrodynamical perspectives, are given. The results show that the blowing patterns are very similar, especially during performance of musical excerpts. Merging the data from the two experiments shows that the hydrodynamical control parameters are directly linked to the melodic structure of the music, independently of the pulmonary volume. This is interpreted as the result of the player's training to produce the muscular activation that is highly adapted to the pulmonary volume.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • 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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