Towards a physical model of the guitar

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.

Caroline Traube

Towards a physical model of the guitar 

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