SOUND AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
Too Long; Didn't ReadNature of sound—The ear—Musical instruments—The vibration of strings—The sounding-board and the frame of a piano—The strings—The striking mechanism—The quality of a note.
SOUND differs from light, heat, and electricity in that it can be propagated through matter only. Sound-waves are matter-waves, not ether-waves. This can be proved by placing an electric bell under the bell-glass of an air-pump and exhausting all the air. Ether still remains inside the glass, but if the bell be set in motion no sound is audible. Admit air, and the clang of the gong is heard quite plainly.
Sound resembles light and heat, however, thus far, that it can be concentrated by means of suitable lenses and curved surfaces. An echo is a proof of its reflection from a surface.
Before dealing with the various appliances used for producing sound-waves of a definite character, let us examine that wonderful natural apparatus
through which we receive those sensations which we call sound.