Model-based quantification of the effect of wood modifications on the dynamics of the violin

Romain Vialaa, Sarah Lämmleinb, Vincent Placeta and Scott Coganc

aUniv. Bourgogne Franche-comté, FEMTO-ST institute
bSwiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology
cCNRS, FEMTO-ST institute

Monday, September 16, 2019 from 16:40 to 17:00

in Summer Theater

Abstract :
The building of musical instruments is traditionally based on craftsmanship and selection of materials. Instrument makers generally attribute a dominant role to the material properties in regard with the acoustics of the musical instruments. Numerous methods are studied by both researchers and instrument makers to modify the physical and mechanical properties of tonewoods. The density, elastic and damping parameters are of particular interest. Wood properties can be modified through chemical treatments, fungi attacks, or climatic artificial aging and results can already be found for spruce, maple and ebony woods. Meanwhile, these methods increase the cost of wood preparation and the objective assessment of the impact of these wood modifications on the perception of musical instruments and especially the improvement of their “quality” remains a subject to discussion. Physics-based models of musical instruments are now able to simulate their complex vibroacoustical behaviour. A numerical model is used to investigate the impact of wood property modifications on the dynamics of a violin while taking into account irreducible uncertainties in the material properties. The aim is to establish a threshold for wood treatments that will insure an observable impact on the dynamic behaviors of interest above and beyond the irreducible material variability.

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