Tension and Release: Tone Production on the Viola
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Music
Dr. Linda Kline
My research explores how a musician's arm forces enacted on the string of an acoustic instrument will affect the tone quality that instrument produces through analysis of relative amplitudes of overtones to a fundamental pitch. I apply a spectrum of forces to the string through direct finger or bow contact and record the resultant frequencies and their amplitudes. I observe the prominent harmonics amplitudes of 8 sampled experiments on the extremes on a spectrum of some to all arm weight and arm pressure to determine how various force applications alter tone quality. Results show that more arm weight and less tension correlate with reduced overtone amplitudes in relation to the fundamental amplitude. Less arm weight and more tension correlate with larger overtone amplitudes in relation to the fundamental amplitude. Implications are that musicians should relax their arms and use natural arm weight in both right and left arms to produce a clearer tone.
Mickelson, Brooke, "Tension and Release: Tone Production on the Viola" (2019). 2019 Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Conference. 113.