Violin modal analysis – part one: Scent of a violin

scent heat map

In the first of a two-part article from June 2009, Joseph Curtin investigates one of the low-frequency resonances that help define a violin’s acoustic ‘perfume’, and explains how studying it can benefit makers

A perfume, like a violin, is designed to evoke an emotional response. Though the response may vary wildly from one person to the next, the perfume itself can be fully characterised by the essential oils from which it is made. Provided these are known, the perfume – along with its effects on any given individual – can be replicated perfectly. Similarly, the acoustic behaviour of a violin is characterised by a set of resonances known as its normal modes of vibration…

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