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Making Good Musical Instruments: Can Acoustics Help ?

Technical Research Forum

Edinburgh, 11th - 12th July 1999

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Focus Meeting in Musical Acoustics organised by the Department of Physics of the University of Edinburgh in conjunction with the Musical Acoustics Group (MAG) of the Institute of Acoustics (IOA), in collaboration with the Stress and Vibration Group (SAVG) of the Institute of Physics (IOP), and with support from the EPSRC.

The purpose of the meeting is to provide an opportunity for the exchange of information and experience between researchers in musical acoustics and makers and restorers of musical instruments.

The meeting has been arranged in co-ordination with the Conference on Musical Instruments (see organised by the Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments with the Galpin Society, 9-11 July 1999 in Edinburgh.


Sun 11 July, 19:00 Reception at Abden House with introductions, followed by supper.
Abden House is a short distance by footpath from Pollock Halls or can be reached by road from Marchhall Crescent.

Monday 12 July, 08:30: Coach leaves Pollock Halls for the Reid Concert Hall

Monday 12 July, 09:00: Reid Concert Hall, Bristo Square

Mon 12 July, 09:00 Welcome and Introduction
Dr Murray Campbell,
University of Edinburgh
Mon 12 July, 09:10 Aspects of the design and manufacture of brass instruments
Dr Richard Smith,
Smith-Watkins Brass
Mon 12 July, 09:30 Musical instrument quality evaluation in industry
Dr Alex Galembo,
formerly head of the Acoustics Laboratory of the Leningrad Musical Instrument Industrial Corporation
Mon 12 July, 09:50 21st Century Orchestral Instruments
Patrick Ozzard-Low,
The Centre for New Musical Instruments
Mon 12 July, 10:10 Materials for violin construction
Dr Claire Barlow,
University of Cambridge

10:30 :: Refreshments

Mon 12 July, 11:00 The Contribution of acoustics to the understanding of guitar construction
Dr Bernard Richardson,
University of Wales (Cardiff)
Mon 12 July, 11:20 What makes an organ sound good
Dr Lucy Comerford and Dr Peter Comerford,
University of Bradford
Mon 12 July, 11:40 Playability factors for violins
Dr James Woodhouse,
University of Cambridge
Mon 12 July, 12:00 Discussion
Chaired by Robert G. Paxman
Paxman Ltd

12:30 :: informal lunch at the Chapterhouse Restaurant, South College Street

Monday 12 July, 13:45: St Cecilia's Hall, Cowgate

Plenary Session
Mon 12 July, 13:45 Discussion: Integration of academic research within an industrial framework - or To what extent is the design of musical instruments a holistic process?
Chaired by Dr Alison McMillan

14:15 :: Parallel Sessions

Wind Instruments
Chair: Dr David Sharp, The Open University.
Contributors include Keith Rogers, Christopher Monk Instruments; Dr Edgar Brown, King's College London; Alan Muhr, TARRC, Hertford; Dr James Buick, University of Edinburgh; and John Cullen, University of Edinburgh
Violins, Guitars and other Fingerboard Stringed Instruments
Chairs: Dr James Woodhouse, University of Cambridge and Dr Bernard Richardson, University of Wales (Cardiff).
Contributors include Alan Beavitt (violin maker); and Dr Mike Leask (University of Oxford)
15:15 :: Refreshments
15:30 :: Parallel Sessions
Electronic and Electro-Acoustic Instruments
Chair: Dr Peter Comerford, University of Bradford
Contributors include Dr Lucy Comerford, University of Bradford; and Maarten van Walstijn, University of Edinburgh
Pianos and other Keyboard Stringed Instruments
Chair: Dr Grant O'Brien, University of Edinburgh.
Contributors include Dr Alex Galembo (Russia)

16:30 :: Plenary Session, St Cecilia's Hall
Mon 12 July, 16:30 Concluding Discussions
Chaired by Dr Murray Campbell,
University of Edinburgh
17:00 :: close


The meeting is supported financially by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and no registration fee is being charged. Participants will be required to complete an evaluation questionnaire before the conclusion of the meeting.

This page updated: 16.07.99; re-published 14.2.13