The Acoustic Guitar: The Physics Of Music In Music

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The acoustic guitar is the the most played instrument in the music world. Though, the guitar looks like a simple instrument to play there are a lot of physics regarding sound behind the creation of it, from the strings to the air inside, the anatomy, and the sound spectrum. Acoustic guitars are subtle and melodious but what makes it sound irresistibly good are the physics behind the instrument itself. Physics plays a huge part in acoustic guitars in many ways, including the structure of the guitar, the effect the physical structure has on sound, wavelengths, mathematical insight about guitars, and research that has been done to improve the sound.

The modern acoustic guitar is the descendent of stringed instruments dating back from some
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Sound travels in the shape of a wave. There are two types of sound waves, longitudinal and transverse [9]. Longitudinal waves travel parallel to the source of the wave and transverse waves travel perpendicular to the source of the wave. Sound is produced from vibrations through a medium, and travels in the form of longitudinal waves [10]. Pitch is the general perception of the highness or lowness of a sound which depends on the frequency complexity, and loudness of the sound [11]; on the other hand, in music pitch related to notes that are being played. The vibrations caused from a disturbance such as a vibrating string create areas of compression and rarefaction of the molecules in the medium that the vibrations are traveling through. Sound is only produced when these vibrations are traveling through a medium. An observer is able to hear sounds because these areas of compression and rarefaction are picked up by the observer's ears, and translated to the brain from longitudinal sound waves. Figure 5 [12] (middle-left) shows the areas of compression and rarefaction in the air in a hollow tube caused by the vibrations from a tuning fork. Compressions are areas of with a high density of molecules; whilst, rarefactions are areas with a low density of

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