Physics of Music on the Mall

In case you missed the announcement in Today@AU, the Physics and Audio Tech departments will be presenting an exhibit on the physics of music at the USA Science and Engineering Festival Expo this weekend, October 23-24, 10am -5:30pm on the National Mall.

From the announcement:

Harshman’s arranged three tables exploring everything from acoustic instruments, such as the autoharp, Chinese singing bowls, Chladni plates, and Helmholtz resonators, to electronics demonstrations of a microphone and a theramin. This musical instrument detects the position of the players’ hands with an antenna so that it can be played without being touched. Another table demonstrates auto tuning, a voice Fourier analyzer, and a Wii created by audio technology Assistant Professor William Brent that has been programmed to sing by adjusting the tone, volume, and vowel with the remote’s motion.

Harshman hopes the exhibit will give young adults a better understanding of the physics behind music, and help them distinguish between analog electronic and digital electronic instruments. “People don’t often realize there’s a difference between the two, but there is,” he says. But more importantly, he just wants kids to have fun.