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J Acoust Soc Am. 2013 May;133(5):3094-106. doi: 10.1121/1.4798669.

Nonlinear effects contributing to hand-stopping tones in a horn.

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Graduate School of Design, Kyushu University, 4-9-1 Shiobaru, Fukuoka, 815-8540, Japan.


Hand stopping is a technique for playing the French horn while closing the bell relatively tightly using the right hand. The resulting timbre is called "penetrating" and "metallic." The effect of hand stopping on the horn input impedance has been studied, but the tone quality has hardly ever been considered. In the present paper, the dominant physical cause of the stopped-tone quality is discussed in detail. Numerical calculations of the transmission function of the stopped-horn model and the measurements of both sound pressure and wall vibration in hand stopping are carried out. They strongly suggest that the metallicness of the stopped tone is characterized by the generation of higher harmonics extending over 10 kHz due to the rapidly corrugating waveform and that the associated wall vibration on the bell may be responsible for this higher harmonic generation. However, excitation experiments and immobilization experiments performed to elucidate the relationship between sound radiation and wall vibration deny their correlation. Instead, the measurement result of the mouthpiece pressure in hand stopping suggests that minute wave corrugations peculiar to the metallic stopped tones are probably formed by nonlinear sound propagation along the bore.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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