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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Physics and Astronomy : Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Undergraduate Course: Musical Acoustics (PHYS08021)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaUndergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionAn introduction to the nature of musical sound and the basic physics governing the behaviour of musical instruments.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Introductory Musical Acoustics (MUSI08024)
Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2014/15 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Class Delivery Information Tutorials and practical work, 1 hour per week, as arranged.
Course Start Date 15/09/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 9, Summative Assessment Hours 11, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 154 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)Musical Acoustics2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)Musical Acoustics2:00
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course it is intended that a student will be able to:
1)describe the vibratory motion of typical musical sound sources, explain what is meant by a travelling wave & a standing wave, & write down & use the formula relating the frequency, wavelength & speed of a sinusoidal sound wave
2)draw a schematic diagram of the human ear, & outline the functions of the different parts of the ear in the hearing process
3)discuss the relationships between the perceived pitch, loudness & timbre of a sound & the objectively measurable properties of the sound wave
4)state & use the formula giving the pitch interval in cents corresponding to a given frequency ratio
5)state & use the formula giving the decibel difference between two sounds of a given intensity ratio, & define the Sound Pressure Level of a sound
6)explain how sound is generated, transformed & radiated by bowed and plucked stringed instruments, keyboard stringed instruments, woodwind & brass instruments, percussion instruments, electronic instruments & the human voice
7)state the frequency ratios & the names of the pitch intervals between the first six members of a
harmonic series, &explain the relationship between these intervals & the Just Diatonic Scale
8)explain the necessity for temperament in the tuning of keyboard instruments, & discuss the differences between Just Intonation, Mean Tone Temperament & Equal Temperament
9)define the reverberation time of a hall, write down & use a formula relating reverberation time to the volume of the hall and the absorption of its surfaces, & discuss the acoustical properties desirable in concert halls and opera houses
10)measure & comment on the dynamic range & timbre of musical instruments, using a sound level meter & a laptop computer with frequency analysis software
11)understand how reverberation time can be measured by plotting decay curves for filtered noise, & analyse & comment on decay curves measured in a concert hall
Assessment Information
Assessed work, 40%
Degree examination, 60%
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserDr Daniel Watts
Tel: (0131 6)50 5254
Course secretaryMs Dawn Hutcheon
Tel: (0131 6)50 7218
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