Mathematics Colloquium

Bernhold Fiedler

(FU Berlin)

"Flageolet harmonics on stringed instruments: the myth of the linear wave equation"

Date: Mon, October 27, 2014
Time: 17:15
Place: Research II Lecture Hall

Abstract: Flageolet is a common technique to elicit harmonics on stringed instruments like guitars, pianos, and the violin family: the bowed or plucked string is subdivided, rationally, by just a slight touch of the finger. The standard second order wave equation of the vibrating string fails to model this phenomenon. The Dirichlet boundary condition at the finger uncouples the two parts of the string and produces tones different from the actual flageolet.

Based on practical demonstrations we discuss string stiffness as a possible source for the flageolet phenomenon.