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A Frequency Error Model for Fretted String Instruments

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A mathematical model, quantifying frequency error due to string displacement and the process of fretting a note on a string instrument, is presented. The model is developed starting with the standard relationship between length, tension, density, and frequency of a perfect string. The change in string length, as a result of displacing the string to a point behind a fret, is modeled by a set of parameters approximating the resulting shape of the fretted string. The string length model is then combined with an inharmonicity model which approximates the frequency deviation of the series of partials contained in the string's frequency spectrum. Inharmonicity is weakly dependent on the change in string tension due to fretting, but to first order, inharmonicity frequency errors of a string with finite bending stiffness are independent of the process of fretting a string.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2012

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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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