Physics of drums

1199 WordsNov 4, 20145 Pages
The Physics of the Drums Physics plays a large role in the production of music. It provides an explanation on how instruments create their sounds and how we interpret them. Many factors determine the sound created from instruments such as tension, resonance, size, shape, material and thickness. One of the world’s oldest and most basic instrument is the drum. The drum can be related to numerous topics in the science of physics. It is a member of the percussion family and usually produces sounds when it is hit by your hands or a drumstick. Drums are usually cylinder shaped. They consist of at least one membrane called the drumhead. Many drums have two membranes, one on top and the other on the bottom. The drumhead is stretched…show more content…
The thicker the drumhead is, the lower the pitch. The thinner the drumhead is, the higher the pitch. If a drummer wants to create a louder volume when they are playing, they could also use a heavier drum stick. The more force a drummer uses on the drum, the louder the volume is. In order to increase the force, one can increase the mass or the acceleration. By using a heavier drumstick, the drummer is increasing the mass, therefore; increasing the force. This increased force causes a louder volume. Different modes come into play on a drumhead as it is hit. These modes depend on the frequency the drumhead is experiencing. The lowest frequency mode is called the fundamental mode. When the drumhead is hit, the center of the head goes up and down. This is represented by the numbers 01. The first number “0” stands for the nodal lines and the “1” stands for the nodal circle. This mode only has one nodal circle. This nodal circle is on all drums in a drum set. It is where the drumhead is fastened in the drum rim. Another mode that can take place is the 02 mode. This is at a higher frequency. This mode has two nodal circles. One is around the rim and the other around the center. Since both these circles are nodes, they do not move up and down when struck with the drumstick. This causes the center of the drum head to go up while the outer part goes down. Another mode is the 11 mode. This has one circle node and a nodal line that goes down

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