Uwe J. Hansen
Phys. Dept., Indiana State Univ., Terre Haute, IN 47809
A course on musical acoustics designed for music majors with little or no background in science serves a number of purposes. Among these is the intent to give insight into the structure of musical sound and the physical nature of various musical instruments, and to enhance the scientific literacy of music students. Meeting these objectives is enhanced significantly if students have the opportunity to learn with their hands and ears. A series of four introductory experiments will be described and illustrated. These are (1) measuring frequency with an oscilloscope, (2) complex wave synthesis with a simple keyboard, (3) the spectrum of an elastic string, (4) the inharmonic spectrum of a stiff string.