NPR logo

Examining the Physics of Music

Only Available in Archive Formats.
Examining the Physics of Music

Science

Examining the Physics of Music

Examining the Physics of Music

Only Available in Archive Formats.

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