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Brass Instruments

This look into brass instrument acoustic behavior begins our study of instruments which initiate their vibrations directly in air, rather than via mechanical vibrations which are later transferred to air. These ``wind'' instruments include brasses, woodwinds, and the voice.

The three principle components of brass instruments are given by the air column (waveguide), player's lips/mouthpiece (excitation source), and bell (radiation).

If you wish to pursue a more in-depth analysis of brass instruments, perhaps for your class project, a unique collection of research materials is maintained here at CCRMA. The Musical Acoustics Research Library (MARL) is a collection of independent archives or libraries assembled by distinguished groups or individuals in the field of musical acoustics research. Currently, MARL is comprised of the Catgut Acoustical Society Library, the Arthur H. Benade Archive, the John Backus Archive, and the John W. Coltman Archive. Arthur Benade, in particular, made substantial contributions to our understanding of brass instrument acoustic behavior.

Wind Instrument Air Columns

  1. Cylindrical Pipes:

  2. Brass Instrument Air Columns:

  3. Impedance:

  4. Valves:

  5. Wall Damping:

Excitation: The Brass Player's Lips

Figure 16: The brass player's lips as a mechanical oscillator blown open.
\epsfig{file = Figures/lips.eps,width=3in} \end{center} \vspace{-0.2in}

Sound Raditaion

  1. The Bell:

  2. Mutes:

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