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Vibroacoustics of the piano soundboard: Reduced models, mobility synthesis, and acoustical radiation regime

Abstract : In string musical instruments, the sound is radiated by the soundboard, subject to the strings excitation. This vibration of this rather complex structure is described here with models which need only a small number of parameters. Predictions of the models are compared with results of experiments that have been presented in Ege et al. [Vibroacoustics of the piano soundboard: (Non)linearity and modal properties in the low- and mid- frequency ranges, Journal of Sound and Vibration 332 (5) (2013) 1288-1305]. The apparent modal density of the soundboard of an upright piano in playing condition, as seen from various points of the structure, exhibits two well-separated regimes, below and above a frequency flim that is determined by the wood characteristics and by the distance between ribs. Above flim, most modes appear to be localised, presumably due to the irregularity of the spacing and height of the ribs. The low-frequency regime is predicted by a model which consists of coupled sub-structures: the two ribbed areas split by the main bridge and, in most cases, one or two so-called cut-off corners. In order to assess the dynamical properties of each of the subplates (considered here as homogeneous plates), we propose a derivation of the (low-frequency) modal density of an orthotropic homogeneous plate which accounts for the boundary conditions on an arbitrary geometry. Above flim, the soundboard, as seen from a given excitation point, is modelled as a set of three structural wave-guides, namely the three inter-rib spacings surrounding the excitation point. Based on these low- and high-frequency models, computations of the point-mobility and of the apparent modal densities seen at several excitation points match published measurements. The dispersion curve of the wave-guide model displays an acoustical radiation scheme which differs significantly from that of a thin homogeneous plate. It appears that piano dimensioning is such that the subsonic regime of acoustical radiation extends over a much wider frequency range than it would be for a homogeneous plate with the same low-frequency vibration. One problem in piano manufacturing is examined in relationship with the possible radiation schemes induced by the models.
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Contributor : Kerem Ege <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 9:51:44 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, December 19, 2019 - 1:34:44 AM
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Xavier Boutillon, Kerem Ege. Vibroacoustics of the piano soundboard: Reduced models, mobility synthesis, and acoustical radiation regime. Journal of Sound and Vibration, Elsevier, 2013, 332 (18), pp.4261-4279. ⟨10.1016/j.jsv.2013.03.015⟩. ⟨hal-00817271⟩

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