Vienna Talk 2015 on Music Acoustics
“Bridging the Gaps”     16–19 September 2015


Parameter ranges for artificial bassoon playing

Grothe, Timo 

Proceedings of the Third Vienna Talk on Music Acoustics (2015), pp. 64–69


This contribution presents bassoon blowing experiments with an artificial mouth. Given the precise adjustability of lip position and blowing pressure, the challenge in the presented experiment is to find those parameter combinations, that produce "reasonable" sustained sounds. In a large set of blowing experiments, artifical mouth adjustment parameters are identified, for which sounding pitch is within 5 Cents deviation from the nominal pitch expected for that fingering. For those musically relevant regimes, an overview on the steady-state parameters of bassoon playing is given. The overview comprises artificial mouth parameters (lip force, blowing pressure, reed slit height, time-averaged flow-rate, RMS reed pressure, and reed pressure shape parameters) and sound related parameters (harmonic spectral centroid, formant frequencies, and loudness). The experiments were carried out with one and the same synthetic bassoon reed on five modern german bassoons and cover the complete playing range in frequency (notes) and dynamics (loudness). The observed variability between the five instruments is relatively small. Yet the comparison of the steady-state parameters with acoustic impedance curves provides some insight into the resonator-reed interaction in the bassoon.


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  • Woodwinds
  • Double Reed
  • Bassoon
  • Artificial Mouth

  • Status
    Invited Paper
    not reviewed

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