The Metallurgy of 17th- and 18th- Century Music Wire

Front Cover
Pendragon Press, 1987 - Music - 143 pages
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One of the central mysteries of the craft of harpsichord-making involves the choice of stringing material. Years of research by a number of distinguished scientists under the guidance of senior authors, Jay Scott Odell, Chief Conservator, and Martha Goodway, Metallurgist, of the Smithsonian Institution have resulted in a pioneering study of the metallurgy of 17th-and 18th-century music wire. Drawing on the scientific resources and expertise of a number of leading institutions, these researchers have been able to analyze samples of antique stringing material, often of only microscopic size. Their conclusions add significantly to our understanding and appreciation of the tonal qualities of the historical harpsichord and will further the efforts of today's instrument makers to recreate them.
 

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Contents

Typical sample of iron wire
6
Early wire drawing
19
Alloy composition
27
Tensile strength of brass vs percent zinc
30
Copperzinc phase diagram
32
Inclusions in iron wire and their analyses
40
Staff used in Wfestphalian fining
42
Factors affecting gauge measurements
45
Coarse wire diameter from hardness pickup curve
76
Microstructure of old iron wire after annealing
77
Surface condition of old iron wire
78
Density of brass vs percent zinc
80
Density of drawn ingot iron
82
Calculated string stresses for the 1733 Blanchet
84
Inharmonicity
85
Stressresidual strain curves for coldworked iron
88

Section of iron wire showing extent of corrosion
46
Internal corrosion in a red brass piano wire
48
Strength and its dependence on gauge size
51
Hardness indentation
56
Hardness pickup in brass wire
58
Tensile strength pickup in iron
60
Tensile strength pickup in old iron wire
62
Micrographs of old brass and iron wire
64
Inclusions in old iron wire
66
Overdrawing in steel wire
68
Drawing through a die
70
Hardness pickup and coercivity in iron
71
Magnetic vs mechanical hardness in old iron wire
72
Cell boundaries in old iron wire
74
Effect of reduction on Youngs modulus in iron
90
Effect of reduction on Youngs modulus in brass
92
Nonwestern octave stretching
100
Wards curve of octave stretching
102
Internal friction
105
Diagram of torsion pendulum
108
Effect of annealing on internal friction
110
Brightening and the Roster effect
113
Spectra of brightening in brass
114
Koster effect in brass
116
Koster effect in iron
118
Koster plots of strung and unstrung wire
120
Conclusions
123
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