ASA 127th Meeting M.I.T. 1994 June 6-10

2pMU1. Acoustic and aerodynamic determinants of the sound quality of flutes.

Neville H. Fletcher

Res. School of Physical Sci. and Engineering, Australian Natl. Univ., Canberra ACT 0200, Australia

After nearly 200 years of research, the precise nature of the aerodynamic driving mechanism of flutes and organ pipes is still incompletely determined. First-order theories using simplified acoustic approximations give reasonable agreement with experiment in terms of the dependence of acoustic output power and spectrum on the parameters available to the instrument maker and the player, but a detailed description needs to take account of aerodynamic phenomena at the level of individual vortices. A current version of the theory is presented and discussed in relation to the control of sound quality available to the flute player through selection of embouchure-hole size and shape and by variation of playing technique. New measurements on some of these quantities are presented.