String resonance (music)

String resonance (music)

String resonance occurs on string instruments. Strings or parts of strings may resonate at their fundamental or overtone frequencies when other strings are sounded. For example, an A string at 440 Hz will cause an E string at 330 Hz to resonate, because they share an overtone of 1320 Hz (3rd overtone of A and 4th overtone of E).

Electric guitars can have string trees near the tuning pegs to mute this type of reverberation. The string length behind the bridge also must be as short as possible to prevent the resonance.String resonance is a factor in the timbre of a string instrument. Tailed bridge guitars like the Fender Jaguar differ in timbre from guitars with short bridges, because of their (extended) floating bridge. The Japanese Koto is also a good example of an instrument with occurring string resonance.

tring resonance in instrument building

Sometimes string resonance is used in the construction of the instrument, like for instance the Sympathetic strings in many Eastern instruments.


According to a 2007 Grove Music Online article on "duplex scaling", Steinway developed a system of Aliquot stringing to provide sympathetic resonance, with the intention of enriching the treble register of the piano. In the "octave duplex" piano by Hoerr of Toronto, each note had four strings, of which two, three or four could be struck by the hammer depending on the depression of any of four pedals. Steinway’s duplex scale was inspired a half century earlier by an experiment conducted by the German piano maker Wilhelm Leberecht Petzoldt, in which a small bridge was placed behind the standard larger one with the intention of maximizing the potential additional resonance of a sympathetically vibrating additional length of string.

Overtones due to string resonance on the koto

The following table [ [ BAIN ATMI 2002: Cents/RatioToCents Appl ] ] [ [ Stichting Huygens-Fokker: List of intervals ] ] shows the created resonating overtones on the koto for various positions on a stopped string (the proportion being between the "played" portion of the string and resonant portion, the remaining length of the string).

Instruments that utilize string resonance

*Modern versions of the nyckelharpa
*Mohan veena
*Piano (right pedal)
*Prepared guitar
*Prepared piano
*Ten-string guitar
*Viola d'amore
*Tar (lute)


ee also

*Aliquot stringing
*Sympathetic string
*List of meantone intervals

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Music Man (company) — Music Man Stingray in Trans Gold finish, 2001 model Music Man is an American guitar, and bass guitar manufacturer. It is a division of the Ernie Ball corporation. Contents 1 …   Wikipedia

  • Resonance — This article is about resonance in physics. For other uses, see Resonance (disambiguation). Resonant redirects here. For the phonological term, see Sonorant. Increase of amplitude as damping decreases and frequency approaches resonant frequency… …   Wikipedia

  • String piano — is a term coined by American composer theorist Henry Cowell (1897–1965) to collectively describe those pianistic extended techniques in which sound is produced by direct manipulation of the strings, instead of or in addition to striking the piano …   Wikipedia

  • Music theory — is the study of how music works. It examines the language and notation of music. It seeks to identify patterns and structures in composers techniques across or within genres, styles, or historical periods. In a grand sense, music theory distills… …   Wikipedia

  • MUSIC — This article is arranged according to the following outline: introduction written sources of direct and circumstantial evidence the material relics and iconography notated sources oral tradition archives and important collections of jewish music… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • music — musicless, adj. /myooh zik/, n. 1. an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color. 2. the tones or sounds employed, occurring in single line (melody) or… …   Universalium

  • Music and mathematics — and in 2009 when fabeso donwizzle entered chaney high he would have changes the awesomeness of the school forever! A spectrogram of a violin waveform, with linear frequency on the vertical axis and time on the horizontal axis. The bright lines… …   Wikipedia

  • List of music topics — This page is a list articles related to music.compactTOC NOTOC A A cappella ndash; Absolute pitch ndash; Accidental ndash; Accompaniment ndash; Ad libitum ndash; Adagio ndash; Added tone chord ndash; Additive rhythm ndash; Album ndash; Aleatoric… …   Wikipedia

  • Sympathetic resonance — is a harmonic phenomenon wherein a formerly passive string or vibratory body responds to external vibrations to which it has a harmonic likeness. The classic example is demonstrated with two similar tuning forks of which one is mounted on a… …   Wikipedia

  • Sympathetic string — Sympathetic strings or resonance strings are auxiliary strings found on many Indian musical instruments, as well as some Western Baroque instruments and a variety of folk instruments. They are typically not played directly by the performer… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”