Examining the Physics of Music

Take a few select notes, add an envelope, some overtones, and just the right timbre. Now let that vibrate your basilar membrane. What do you have? Beethoven's Ninth, of course. So what makes one sound "musical" while another is just noise?

Guests:

Bryant Hichwa, professor, physics and astronomy, Sonoma State University

David Kirkby, associate professor, experimental particle physics, University of California Irvine

Brian Holmes, professor of physics, San Jose State University

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: