Piano Action Dynamics
High Speed Imaging
Animal Growth Modelling
The overall objective of this research program is to investigate the acoustic and mechanical behaviour of the piano and relate it to design principles. Novel experimental investigations will be used to support the development of predictive simulation models.
Individual models will be constructed for the main functional subsystems of the piano:
The important interactions between these have been recognized intuitively by piano designers for centuries. Subsystem couplings will be explictly represented in the model: hammer-string interaction, string-bridge-string, string-bridge-soundboard, and soundboard-structure.
The computational model will be generic and based on principles which are applicable to ALL pianos, whether historical, modern, or unconventional (post-modern). This will provide a useful practical design and analysis tool for piano builders, re-builders, technicians, restorers, and organologists.
The project is aiming to develop a model with a realistic predictive capability for a particular set of detailed design specifications (structure and parameters). Consequently, calibration and model validation are an integral and important aspect. Experimental investigations will utilize a variety of technical approaches, including high speed imaging, controlled mechanical actuation and position measurement (linear encoders), accelerometers, load cells, and modal analysis based on data collected via laser doppler vibrometer. Particular emphasis will be placed on material properties. Interference between data collection and the system being investigated will be minimized.
The following aspects of this research program are currently underway:
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©2004 Stephen Birkett