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Effects of a Synthetic Clarinet Bore Liner on Spectral Centroid and Fundamental Frequency Error

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Throughout their relatively short history, various materials have been used to construct clarinets. While wood is the most common material used for modern professional clarinets, other materials have been and continue to be used, including synthetic materials. Despite the availability and accessibility of these materials, professional musicians rarely use instruments made from synthetics, insisting that their wooden counterparts produce superior results. Numerous studies have found the energy radiated directly by rigid cylindrical vibrating tubes to be both insignificant and have little to no effect on an internal vibrating air column. Using real instruments played by musicians, the present study compared a prototype clarinet upper joint with a synthetic bore liner produced by French instrument maker Henri Selmer Paris to two unlined, solid wood clarinets of the same make and model by examining two acoustical parameters. Spectral centroid and fundamental frequency f 0 pitch error were measured for 45 notes (written E3-C7), performed by five accomplished clarinetists unaware of which instrument they were playing. Consistent with findings from other researchers, the particular instrument had no significant effect on spectral centroid. Meanwhile, although a significant effect of the instrument on f 0 pitch error was found, pairwise comparisons suggest non-significant effects from the lined joint.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2019

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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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