Saturday, February 09, 2008

Physicist Discovers How Sax Players Hit High Notes

Many physicists either study, or try to investigate things that may not be strictly in the traditional area of physics. I mentioned one earlier on the study of the most optimal way to load passengers onto an airline. Now comes a study by a physicist to investigate how a professional saxophone player can hit the high notes that many people cannot. They somehow are able to adjust their vocal tracts to resonate at the same frequency as the sound they're trying to make with the saxophone.

But for the highest notes, the vocal tracts of professional saxophonists did something special.

"In those higher frequencies up there, the saxophone's own resonances are relatively weak, so that's why it's hard to sound those notes," Mr Chen said.

"By adjusting your vocal tract resonances to match those in the saxophone, they add up. That allows them to play the notes."



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