Aeroacoustics of Musical Instruments

B. Fabre, J. Gilbert, Abraham Hirschberg, X. Pelorson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


We are interested in the quality of sound produced by musical instruments and their playability. In wind instruments, a hydrodynamic source of sound is coupled to an acoustic resonator. Linear acoustics can predict the pitch of an instrument. This can significantly reduce the trial-and-error process in the design of a new instrument. We consider deviations from the linear acoustic behavior and the fluid mechanics of the sound production. Real-time numerical solution of the nonlinear physical models is used for sound synthesis in so-called virtual instruments. Although reasonable analytical models are available for reeds, lips, and vocal folds, the complex behavior of flue instruments escapes a simple universal description. Furthermore, to predict the playability of real instruments and help phoneticians or surgeons analyze voice quality, we need more complex models.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalAnnual review of fluid mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • METIS-284545
  • IR-81602

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