Piano Physics at Purdue

General Info


Sound Samples

Latest modeling results (2003)


Welcome to Piano Physics at Purdue!

These pages describe our work on the acoustics of the piano. One of our goals is to develop a physical model of the piano. This model starts with a physical description of the instrument; i.e., the dimensions of the soundboard, the lengths of all the strings, the compression characteristics of the hammers, and many more such properties. We then use Newton's laws of motion (i.e., F=ma) to calculate the motion of the hammers, strings, soundboard, and room air when a note is played. One of the results will (hopefully) be a realistic piano sound. A more important result will be an understanding of why a piano sounds the way it does.

The papers available on this www site describe some of our experimental measurements and theoretical studies. More details on our modeling work will be in a paper which is now under construction.

Some preliminary modeling results are given on the Sound Samples page. There your can download, or listen to, some of our calculated tones.

Our latest results on how piano hammers affect the tone can be found here. This includes sound samples calculated with the hammers modeled in different ways. These results accompany our paper submitted to the upcoming special issue on model based sound synthesis of musical instrument tones in the Journal of Applied Signal Processing.

We would like your comments and suggestions, so please feel free to contact us.

Copyright © 2003 Piano Physics at Purdue Team