The pianoforte and its acoustic properties

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S. Hansing, 1904 - Music - 223 pages
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Page 8 - Marchese Corti, which is to all appearance a musical instrument, with its chords so stretched as to accept vibrations of different periods, and transmit them to the nerve filaments which traverse the organ. Within the ears of men, and without their knowledge or contrivance, this lute of 3,000 strings* has existed for ages, accepting the music of the outer world, and rendering it fit for reception by the brain.
Page 173 - E ; each boy, after the transmission of the push, becoming himself erect. E, having nobody in front, is thrown forward. Had he been standing on the edge of a precipice, he would have fallen over ; had he stood in contact with a window, he would have broken the glass ; had he been close to a drum-head, he would have shaken the drum. We could thus transmit a push through a row of a hundred boys, each particular boy, however, only swaying to and fro. Thus, also, we send sound through the air, and shake...
Page 8 - ... the music of the outer world and rendering it fit for reception by the brain. Each musical tremor which falls upon this organ selects from the stretched fibres, the one appropriate to its own pitch, and throws it into unisonant vibration. And thus, no matter how complicated the motion of the external air may be, these microscopic strings can analyse it, and reveal the constituents of which it is composed. Surely, inability to feel the stupendous wonder of what is here revealed would imply incompleteness...
Page 174 - You ought, in short, to be able to seize the conception that a sonorous wave consists of two portions, in the one of which the air is more dense, and in the other of which it is less dense than usual. A condensation and a rarefaction, then, are the two constituents of a wave of sound...
Page 172 - This membrane, which closes outwardly the " drum " of the ear, is thrown into vibration, its motion is transmitted to the ends of the auditory nerve, and afterward along that nerve to the brain, where the vibrations are translated into sound.
Page 171 - Applying a flame to a small collodion balloon which contains a mixture of oxygen and hydrogen, the gases explode, and every ear in this room is conscious of a shock, which we name a sound. How was this shock transmitted from the balloon to our organs of hearing ? Have the exploding gases shot the air-particles against the auditory nerve as a gun shoots a ball against a target ? No doubt in the neighbourhood of the balloon there is to some extent a propulsion of particles ; but no particle of air...
Page 173 - I suddenly push A, A pushes B and again regains his upright position; B pushes C; C pushes D; D pushes E; each boy, after the transmission of the push, becoming himself erect. E, having nobody in front, is thrown forward. Had he been standing on the edge of a precipice, he would have fallen over; had he stood in contact with a window, he would have broken the glass; had he been close to a drumhead, he would have shaken the drum. We...
Page 172 - ... motion thus imparted to the first ball is delivered up to the second, the motion of the second is delivered up to the third, the motion of the third is imparted to the fourth; each ball, after having given up its motion, returning itself to rest. The last ball only of the row flies away.
Page 171 - I may use the term, surrounding the balloon took up the motion of the shell next preceding, and transmitted it to the next succeeding shell, the motion being thus propagated as a pulse or wave through the air. The motion of the pulse must not be confounded with the motion of the particles which at any moment constitute the pulse. For while the wave moves forward through c-ousiderable distances, each particular particle of air makes only a small excursion to and fro.
Page 183 - It is lined with smooth masonry. When a pin is dropped into the well it is distinctly heard to strike the water. In certain parts of the Colosseum at London the tearing of paper sounds like the patter of hail, while a single exclamation comes back a peal of laughter.

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