The research carried out in this thesis is concerned with the development of a physical model of the classical guitar. The aim of the model is to be able to predict the sound of a guitar given its design of construction and the material properties of the wood used. The work presented here will show the degree of success achieved towards developing such a model. Finite element analysis has been used to calculate the normal modes of a simplified guitar from which the sound pressure response can be predicted. Only the top plate is modelled directly but the results can be adapted to account for the whole guitar body.
Each stage of the model’s development is described in detail with a consideration of the simplifications and assumptions needed to make it feasible with the available resources. The success of the model is demonstrated throughout by comparison with experimental results. An experimental guitar rig has been used to allow mode analysis measurements to be made of real guitar plates using holographic interferometry which can be compared directly with results from the finite element model. Input admittance and sound pressure response measurements can also be compared with calculations from the model.