Volume 2, Issue 4, October 2006
Index of content:
2(2006); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2961141View Description Hide Description
In the summer of 1763, the Mozart family embarked on the famous tour of Europe that established the young composer's reputation as a musical prodigy (front cover). Just before they left, an anonymous letter appeared in the Augsburgischer Intelligenz‐Zettel describing seven year old Wolfgang's extraordinary abilities. The letter included the following:
“Furthermore, I saw and heard how, when he was made to listen in another room, they would give him notes, now high, now low, not only on the pianoforte but on every other imaginable instrument as well, and he came out with the letter of the name of the note in an instant. Indeed, on hearing a bell toll, or a clock or even a pocket watch strike, he was able at the same moment to name the note of the bell or time piece.”
This passage provides a good characterization of absolute pitch—the ability to name or produce a note of a given pitch in the absence of a reference note. This ability, which is also known as “perfect pitch,” is very rare in our culture, with an estimated overall prevalence of less than one in ten thousand.
2(2006); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2961142View Description Hide Description
Most sounds that you hear throughout the day are radiated by vibrating structures. Walls and windows radiate sound into your house and office building. Windows radiate sound into your automobile, or into other vehicles, like buses, trains, and airplanes. The cones on the speakers of your stereo are vibrating structures that radiate sound into the air around you.
I have tried to make this tutorial general and interesting to the non‐structural acoustician, while also including enough detailed information (yes, equations) for those interested in pursuing structural‐acoustics further. I have drawn from the course I teach at Penn State, several outstanding textbooks and articles in the field (see the Reference list at the end of the article), and research performed by several members of the Penn State Graduate Program in Acoustics.
2(2006); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2961143View Description Hide Description
Much can happen in 75 years, whether it is to a person's life or the life of a Society. In fact most of the history of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) has been built upon the professional lives of its members. Since there was no one source of information for compiling this historical account of the Society, information from ASA correspondence files, from personal recollections, from the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA) and other articles have been gathered together to write this informal history.