You are on page 1of 7

Answers to Tutorial No 2, Semester 1, 2013/14

1. When you touch a string which is 120 cm long at a certain distance from its nearer end, it vibrates with a frequency of 1,800 Hz. If the string has a fundamental frequency of 450 Hz, what is the distance of your nger from its nearer end? If the string is now increased in length by 20%, what would the vibrating frequency of the string be if it vibrates with your nger at a distance of 48 cm from the nearer end of the string? Answer: Since 1,800 Hz is 450 Hz times 4, the string is vibrating at its fourth harmonic. The distance of your nger from the nearer end must be one-quarter of the length of the string, which is 120 cm divided by 4 i.e. 30 cm. If the string is lengthened by 20%, its length will become equal to 120 cm times 1.2 i.e. 144 cm. The fundamental frequency of the string 120 will now be given by 450 Hz times 144 i.e. 375 Hz. If your nger is 48 cm from the strings nearer end, since 48 cm is one-third of 144 cm, the string will now be at its third harmonic. Its frequency of vibration will thus be equal to 375 Hz times 3 i.e. 1,125 Hz. 2. A string which is vibrating at a frequency of 4,800 Hz is observed to have 8 antinodes between its two ends. If a second string which is 120 cm long is observed to be vibrating with 5 antinodes between its

two ends at a frequency of 2,400 Hz, what is the length of the rst string vibrating at 4,800 Hz? If a vibrating third string is observed to have seven nodes between its two ends and has a length of 150 cm, what would be its frequency of vibration? (Assume that the three strings are similar in all respects except for length.) Answer: The rst string has 8 antinodes and is thus at its 8th harmonic, and hence its fundamental frequency is given by 4,800 Hz divided by 8 i.e. 600 Hz. The second string has 5 antinodes and is thus at its 5th harmonic, and hence its fundamental frequency must be equal to 2,400 Hz divided by 5 i.e. 480 Hz. Therefore since the second string has a length of 120 cm, we can deduce that the rst string has a length given by 120 cm times 480 600 i.e. 96 cm. The third string has a length of 150 cm, and hence its fundamental frequency compared to the second string is given by 480 Hz times 120 150 i.e. 384 Hz. If the third string is vibrating with 7 nodes, it must be at its 8th harmonic, and its frequency must be equal to 384 Hz times 8 i.e. 3,072 Hz. 3. Starting from a rst musical note, if we go up by the interval of a Just seventh, we will arrive at a second note. If we start again from the same rst note and go up again but now by the interval of a Pythagorean seventh, we will arrive at a third note. Which of these two notes arrived at i.e. the second or third note, has the higher frequency? What is the ratio of the interval between these two notes? If

the frequency of the rst note is 880 Hz, what are the frequencies of the second and third notes? If we start again from the same rst note with a frequency of 880 Hz, but go down instead of up by the Just seventh and Pythagorean seventh respectively, what would the frequencies of the second and third notes be? Answer: The Just seventh has a ratio of 15 8 which is equal to 1.875, while the Pythagorean seventh has 243 a ratio of 128 which is approximately equal to 1.898. Therefore the second note is lower than the third note. If we denote the ratio between the second and 243 third note as r, we have 15 8 times r equal to 128 , so 8 243 that r is equal to 243 128 times 15 i.e. 240 which can be 81 reduced to 80 . If the rst note has a frequency of 880 Hz, the frequency of the second note is equal to 880 Hz times 15 8 i.e. 1,650 Hz, and that of the third note is equal to 880 Hz times 243 128 i.e. 1,670.625 Hz. If we went down by the same ratios, the frequency of the second would be equal to 880 Hz divided by 8 15 8 which is the same as 880 Hz times 15 i.e. approximately 469.33 Hz. The frequency of the third 128 note would similarly be given by 880 Hz times 243 i.e. approximately 463.54 Hz. 4. One of the most frequently used musical scales in folk music is the common pentatonic scale, which can be found on any piano keyboard by playing only the black notes on the keyboard. This scale is known as a pentatonic scale as it consists of ve notes (not counting the note one octave above the beginning

of the scale), which are arranged in the following sequence of intervals: tone, tone, three semitones, tone, followed by three semitones. This gives a total of 12 semitones so we arrive at the note one octave above the starting note. In Balinese gamelan music, one of the most used scales is also a pentatonic scale of ve notes. However, this scale has a dierent sequence of intervals, which is: semitone, tone, 2 tones, semitone, 2 tones, giving a total of 12 semitones. If you start from the D just above Middle C as the rst note, what are the letter names of the notes on the keyboard making up the notes of these two dierent pentatonic scales? Starting instead from the G just below Middle C, what are the names of the notes making up these two pentatonic scales? Answer: For the common pentatonic scale, if we start from D, the next note is a tone above giving the note E, then the next note is also a tone above giving F sharp. We then go up three semitones to arrive at A, and then a tone above to give B, and then up another three semitones to arrive at the note D exactly one octave above the starting D. For the Balinese pentatonic scale, going up a semitone from the starting D, the next note is E at, then going up a tone gives F, then 2 tones up gives us the note A, then up by a semitone gives B at, and up by 2 tones arrives at the D one octave above the starting D. Starting from the note G instead, the notes for the common pentatonic scale would be A, B, D, E, and G. The notes for the Balinese scale would be A

at, B at, D, E at, and G. 5. A violin has its strings tuned in Just fths as is normally done, with its A string tuned to a frequency of 440 Hz. A guitar is tuned to the Equal-tempered scale with its A string tuned to 110 Hz. What is the ratio of the interval between the guitars A4 note and its E5 note? What would the ratios be between the guitars A4 note and the same note E5 as played on the violins E string? Calculate the ratios of the interval between the violins D string and the guitars A4 note, and of the interval between the guitars note equivalent to the note on the violins D string, and the guitars A4 note. (Take the ratio of an equaltempered semitone to be equal to 1.05946 for your calculations.) Answer: The interval of a semitone in the Equaltempered scale on the guitar has the ratio of 1.05946. The guitars A4 note has the same frequency as the violins A4 note i.e. 440 Hz, since the guitars A2 string is tuned to 110 Hz. From the guitars A4 note to its E5 note is an interval of an equal-tempered fth i.e. 7 equal-tempered semitones, and hence the ratio 7 is given by ( 12 2) i.e. approximately 1.4983. The E string of the violin is exactly a Just fth above its A string, and hence the ratio of the interval from the 3 guitars A4 to the violins E5 is equal to 2 i.e. 1.5. The violins D string is a Just fth below its A string, and hence the ratio between the D string and the A string is also a fth with the ratio of 3 2 i.e. 1.5. The violins D string is the note D4, and on the guitar

D4 is 7 equal-tempered semitones below the guitars A4, and hence the ratio is that of an equal-tempered 7 fth whose ratio is ( 12 2) i.e. approximately 1.4983. 6. A musical sound has a spectral diagram or spectrum which is a graph representing the fundamental frequency and harmonics of the sound by vertical lines, with the lengths of the lines represents the amplitudes of the harmonics, and their positions on the horizontal axis represents their frequencies. A certain musical instrument discovered by archeologists can emit a musical note producing a spectrum which shows its fundamental frequency and its harmonics up to the 12th harmonic. There are no missing harmonics in the spectrum, and the 5th line from the left in the spectrum has a frequency of 3,500 Hz. What are the frequencies of the 3rd, 4th, 7th and 9th lines from the left in the spectrum of this instrument? The spectrum of a square wave has a 4th line from the left with the same frequency as the 6th line from the left in the spectrum of note from the musical instrument. What are the frequencies of the 2nd and 5th lines from the left in the spectrum of the square wave? Answer: The 5th line from the left in the instruments spectrum is its 5th harmonic, and hence the fundamental frequency of the note is equal to 3,500 Hz divided by 5 i.e. 700 Hz. The 3rd, 4th, 7th and 9th lines from the left in the spectrum are the notes 3rd, 4th, 7th and 9th harmonics respectively. Therefore the frequencies of these harmonics are 2,100 Hz,

2,800 Hz, 4,900 Hz and 6,300 Hz respectively. The spectrum of a square wave has only odd harmonics, so the 4th line from the left in its spectrum is the 7th harmonic. The 6th line from the left of the instruments spectrum is its 6th harmonic, which has a frequency of 700 Hz times 6 i.e. 4,200 Hz. If this is equal to the 7th harmonic of the square wave, its fundamental frequency must be equal to 4,200 Hz divided by 7 i.e. 600 Hz. Its 2nd and 5th lines from the left in its spectrum are its 3rd and 9th harmonics, which will have the frequencies 600 Hz times 3 i.e. 1,800 Hz, and 600 Hz times 9 i.e. 5,400 Hz respectively.