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Good Vibrations: The Physics of Musicby Barry Parker
Synopses & Reviews
Why does a harpsichord sound different from a piano? For that matter, why does middle C on a piano differ from middle C on a tuning fork, a trombone, or a flute? Good Vibrations explains in clear, friendly language the out-of-sight physics responsible not only for these differences but also for the whole range of noises we call music.
The physical properties and history of sound are fascinating to study. Barry Parker's tour of the physics of music details the science of how instruments, the acoustics of rooms, electronics, and humans create and alter the varied sounds we hear. Using physics as a base, Parker discusses the history of music, how sounds are made and perceived, and the various effects of acting on sounds. In the process, he demonstrates what acoustics can teach us about quantum theory and explains the relationship between harmonics and the theory of waves.
Peppered throughout with anecdotes and examples illustrating key concepts, this invitingly written book provides a firm grounding in the actual and theoretical physics of music.
Book News Annotation:
For musicians, music lovers, and students of physics, Parker (physics, Idaho State U.) explains the physics responsible for musical sounds, the science of instruments, the acoustics of rooms, and how humans create sounds. He discusses how sounds are made and perceived; the building blocks of music (tones, scales, chords, and rhythm, as well as types of music); the physics of different instruments, their history and construction, and virtuoso players; and electronics, MIDI, and microphones. He also addresses the relationship between harmonics and the theory of waves. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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