3aMU1. Musical acoustics: A bridge between physics and music.

Session: Wednesday Morning, June 18

Author: Thomas D. Rossing
Location: Phys. Dept., Northern Illinois Univ., DeKalb, IL 60115


For more than 30 years, I have taught elementary courses in acoustics to students in the liberal arts. Although these courses were designed especially for music students, the subject of musical acoustics has broad appeal to students with a wide variety of backgrounds and with a broad spectrum of professional and vocational plans. One can easily argue that musical acoustics is ``good physics,'' in that it applies the principles of mechanics, wave motion, thermodynamics, optics, and electricity and magnetism to understanding musical instruments and the way in which musical sound is recorded and reproduced. I have written two textbooks, two reprint books, a book of acoustics laboratory experiments, a book of demonstration experiments, and other suggestions for teaching the science of sound. Some of my experiences and ideas for teaching physics through musical acoustics will be shared.

ASA 133rd meeting - Penn State, June 1997