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09:00-10:00 Session 6: Keynote
Beethoven’s French Piano: Affordances and Entanglements

ABSTRACT. By late October 1803 Ludwig van Beethoven received an Erard Frères piano en forme de clavecin. This piano from Paris sparked a period of intense pianistic activity, resulting in an immediate plan to write a trilogy of sonatas: his Op. 53 (“Waldstein”), Op. 54, and Op. 57 (“Appassionata”). At the Orpheus Institute in Ghent, Belgium, a replica of Beethoven’s Erard was built for the first time. It allows us to relive Beethoven’s technology-related exploration and experimentation. It also invites us to reconnect with an early 19th-century context of French piano building and sound, which was crucially different to what happened in Vienna. During this lecture-demonstration, I will discuss why the French instrument was important for Beethoven for at least a brief period of time. But ambition turned to frustration as an attempt to “viennicize” the instrument led to ill-advised technical revisions. These caused Beethoven to ultimately give up on his French experiment, calling his once beloved Erard in 1810 “now really useless” (jetzt wirklich unbrauchbar).

10:20-11:00 Session 7: piano
The challenges of a five octave toy piano

ABSTRACT. The toy piano is basically a children's toy that has had some success with the brands Schoenhut (the inventor in Philadelphia) or Michelsonne in France. Composers like John Cage or Yann Tiersen composed specifically for it and its sound is now part of the sound heritage. Toy pianos exist with variable ranges from 1 to 3 octaves, rarely more. In a toy piano the strings are replaced by steel rods whose base is conical in order to increase the flexibility when fitting. This has the consequence of bringing the ratio between the frequencies of the 3rd and 2nd modes closer to 3 instead of 2.8 for a uniform rod. It appears in fact that the frequency which is associated with the pitch is that of the 2nd mode. The first mode is much lower with a frequency about 3 octaves below and is normally not audible. One of the problems that can be encountered on some toy pianos in the bass of the instrument is that the amplitude of the third mode becomes greater than that of the second. The perceived pitch then becomes ambiguous between that of the second and that of the third mode, all the more so if the tuning between the two partials is not correct. Conversely in the treble, the first mode can become audible which produces an unpleasant effect because it is not a priori in tune with the other modes. In 2019, an apprentice instrument maker Simon Penaud, produced a 5-octave toy piano as part of his graduation project. On this instrument these problems were greatly exacerbated and the first octave did not give satisfaction. Moreover, in the treble the first mode became too strongly audible. During our presentation we will explore different ways to solve these problems.

Modelling the interaction between piano strings and the soundboard

ABSTRACT. In a piano, the different polarisation of the vibration of the strings and their coupling to the soundboard through the bridge play an important role in tone generation. This study shows how these features can be included in a modal model of the string-soundboard system and analyses the role played by the mobility matrix of the soundboard at the connection point between the strings and soundboard. For modelling purposes the string is represented using a stiff string model in both transverse directions while the longitudinal vibration is obtained by the conventional equation of motion of a rod. In the model, the length of the strings corresponds to the distance between the agraffe and the hitch pin, where they are considered to be simply supported. The connections with the soundboard and the consequent separation of the strings in the speaking length and the duplex scaling length, are obtained by coupling the equations of the two systems. This is implemented with different approaches. First, a linear frequency-domain model is developed and used to demonstrate the importance of the different terms, direct and cross, of the soundboard mobility matrix. In such an approach, the effect of different representations of the soundboard can be assessed. In particular, a comparison between a full Finite Element solution and equivalent lumped parameter systems will be presented. Finally, in order to represent the full process of sound generation in pianos, a time domain solution is adopted. This allows calculation of the forces exchanged in different directions between the strings and the bridge following the non-linear excitation by the piano hammer. An analysis of the frequency-domain results shows that the most important form of coupling arises between the two transverse directions, while the longitudinal vibration of a linear string appears to play a smaller role. In addition, it is found that the difference between adopting a detailed Finite Element model or an equivalent simpler approach for the soundboard is small in the context of the string vibration. Time-domain results will be shown to analyse the effect of double polarisation and the excitation of multiple strings. This will lead to an assessment of the double decay and multidirectional forcing of the bridge. A final outlook on how the approach that is developed will be used to predict vibration over the soundboard and its sound radiation will be given but without showing specific results in this area.

11:00-11:40 Session 8: bowed-string instruments
Investigating the cello position, bow motion and cellist posture using motion capture

ABSTRACT. Cello position and playing posture are of great importance in the cello learning process as well as for the players’ personal technique. To gain more information on this topic, a study is conducted in which several advanced cellists are recorded using optical motion capture technology to examine their posture, cello position and bow movement. In addition, this study aims to find a position of the cello in which it can be played comfortably by both human players and an instructed robotic arm. Therefore, a cello is mounted on a custom-made holding structure in which it can be held immobile during playing. Participants are invited to play several bowing exercises with variations in articulation and loudness on open-strings, followed by music excerpts from known cello literature. The bowing actions and the sitting parameters are compared between the cellists. While the exercises contribute to the data collection of bowing motions to apply to the robotic arm, the music excerpts are used to analyse the playing posture and to allow participants to evaluate their level of comfort during playing. These investigations will gather information regarding the cello position and the bowing action to inform artificial playing setups as well as introduce systematic methodologies for artistic and educational purposes on the topic of cello posture.

Correlations between bowed string transients and bow quality

ABSTRACT. String players devote a large part of their early training to smoothing out bow changes, from up-bow to down-bow and vice-versa, in order to avoid any scratchy sound. The task is particularly arduous at the frog (lower part of the bow), where the musician has to use much more finger strength than at the tip. Playing bowed-string instruments requires a delicate balance of different control parameters in order to produce a consensual good sound, the so-called Helmholtz motion. Professional and experienced amateur players master this skill thanks to years of training ; however, they may prefer one bow to another depending on how it bounces on the string, the quality of the sound, the ease of playing or the clarity in the attacks, which they can relate to consonant-like sounds. Bow makers are aware of this, and are able to select the physical characteristics (e.g. camber or mass distribution) that best suit the musician’s preferences when making a new bow. In this study we focused on how the mechanical properties of the bow relate to the duration and properties of transients, and how players perceive them. For this purpose, we carried out different tests with different bows played by different musicians. We used a cello instrumented with piezoelectric sensors placed between the bridge and the strings, to measure the force exerted by the vibrating strings. We developed an algorithm to automatically detect and characterize transient regimes from the recorded force signals, in order to link the transient characteristics (e.g. duration or noisiness) with the mechanical properties of the bows and the perceptual evaluations by the players.

11:40-13:00Lunch Break
13:00-15:20 Session 9: timbre & directivity
The perceptual pleasantness of low-register instruments

ABSTRACT. In a series of experiments described here, we set out to determine the perceived pleasantness of timbre, of a range of typical musical instruments playing in the low register: between G1 and G3. This line of research was originally motivated by our informal observation that the didgeridoo sound was often found to be very pleasing, even for listeners who had never heard it before. In a previous study, in which we examined only the didgeridoo and the bass trombone, listeners rated the pleasantness of the didgeridoo significantly higher than that of the trombone. In subsequent experiments we therefore extended the comparison to several additional instruments in this register: piano, contrabass (bowed), contrabass (pizzicato), bass guitar, tuba, and contrabassoon, as well as the bass trombone and didgeridoos from the previous study. The results show that the listeners had a distinct preference for plucked string instruments (bass guitar and pizzicato contrabass) and the piano, as compared to the wind instruments. Interestingly, ratings increased for some of the instruments as higher notes were played. In addition, the tuba was rated most highly among the wind instruments. These results were robust over different rating methodologies, different recordings of these instruments and different groups of listeners. Some initial explanations are offered, though much further research on this topic is called for, including acoustic analysis, in order to disentangle the various factors influencing such judgments.

How can we approach the topic of tone-to-tone timbre variability of historical instruments?

ABSTRACT. Recent publications have shown that tone-to-tone variability of timbre is a characteristic feature of historical flutes and whose replica. This can easily be demonstrated by means of recordings with artificially normalized pitch. Objective analysis verifies the appearance of various spectral types at single instruments. Even modern flutes show a specific variation of timbre throughout the whole tone scale, beside intentional modifications provoked by the player. Due to the fact that historical flutes of the Renaissance and Baroque era exhibit a more simple design than the modern flute, specific fingering patterns are needed to achieve the full chromatic scale. This technique enhances the characteristic variation of timbres from tone to tone. Listening to music played according to historical informed performance HIP proves that instrument driven variations of timbre also affect the expression of other classes of historical instruments, such as cornett, chalumeau or oboe. Furthermore, players strived to enhance the variability of timbres on string instruments, exemplary observed at violin and viola da gamba.

In this contribution, two main questions shall be addressed:

1. How, if at all, is the variation of timbre in literature referred to by contemporary musicians, composers and instrument makers? Studies of appropriate documents show that a specific meaning of timbre does not exist at that time. But a specific emphasis on naturalness of musical expression, emotional effect and language likeness requires small variations of rhythm (inégalité), articulation, dynamics and even pitch. Colourfulness of sounds thus supported the popular desire for ‘painting with music’.

2. With a focus on processes of hearing, how is the impression of a consistent sound of a specific instrument configured in the perceptual system. Even with a strong tone-to-tone variability, an immediate impression of an overall characteristic of timbre occurs in consciousness. One solution of this ‘holism-problem’ of audition has been suggested by the discovery of formants, which provide a consistent spectral feature across all (or most) tones. But this is not valid for historical flutes, where formants are not pronounced due to a relative small number of partial tones in combination with high fundamental frequencies.

Even though these questions can only be touched rather than being entirely answered, they disclose inspiring pathways for an enhanced thinking about timbre perception, instrumental sounds and the relation to music history.

AMT 1.x: The Auditory Modeling Toolbox for Reproducible Research in Music Acoustics

ABSTRACT. The auditory modeling toolbox (AMT) is a Matlab/Octave toolbox for the development and application of auditory computational models with a particular focus on reproducible research. The AMT aims at reproducing model predictions and at providing user-friendly access, allowing students and researchers to work with and to advance existing models. To this end, it consists of implementations of auditory models, structured in-code documentation, and the auditory data required to run the models. Model implementations can be evaluated by running so-called demonstrations which are quick presentations of a model and by starting so-called experiments aiming at reproducing results from the corresponding publications. With its versions 1.x, freely available at, the AMT provides a sophisticated framework including caching mechanisms, online repositories, general purpose functions, and plotting functionality, all intended to encourage the enhancement of existing models. For future contributions, the AMT offers multi-licensing of the model implementations, clear display of authorship, and citations to their authors’ publications. The AMT 1.2 includes over 60 models. Many of them address spatial hearing and perceptual similarity, particularly relevant for research in music acoustics.

A method for tracking the frequencies and amplitudes of partials in transient musical signals

ABSTRACT. Pitch detection and tracking is a classical problem of signal processing. Over the years, many approaches have been elaborated that can be applied in various fields, including the analysis of musical or speech signals. As the properties of the attack transient can significantly affect the perceived quality of the sound produced by musical instruments, transient sound analysis is an essential tool for their examination.

In this contribution, a method is introduced for extracting the frequencies and amplitudes of partials in transient musical signals, intended to be used for post-processing recorded audio samples. The proposed technique processes the signal in a block-by-block manner with the typical block length of a few milliseconds. In each block, the frequency of each partial is assumed to be constant, while the amplitude varies exponentially with a constant growth rate in time. The initial guess of the frequency is based on the power spectrum, and partials of the signal are processed one by one. First, zero-phase band-pass filtering is applied to each partial. Next, complex modulation and low-pass filtering is performed, and a low-frequency complex-valued signal is attained. Then, the frequency and the temporal growth rate are found in each block by means of a least-squares fit. Finally, the signal is reconstructed by fitting a harmonic function with the previously obtained frequency and temporal growth rate onto the corresponding block of the band-pass filtered signal. The performance of the proposed technique is compared with that of other methods applicable for pitch detection and tracking.

The above signal processing strategy is applied to analyze sound samples of different wind instruments for the detailed examination of their attack transients. In particular, samples from an artificially blown tenor recorder show systematic frequency changes during the attack stage, revealing a connection between the temporal growth rate and the frequency of the signal. The observed trends are interpreted by analyzing the jet-drive model of sound production by the recorder.

Representing directivities and other spatial data by means of the spatially oriented format for acoustics

ABSTRACT. The spatially oriented format for acoustics (SOFA), also known as the AES69 standard, aims at representing acoustic information about spatial audio systems. While the most widely known data described by SOFA are head-related transfer functions (HRTFs), SOFA can also be used to describe spatial room impulse responses (SRIRs), or directivities of microphones, musical instruments, and loudspeakers. SOFA was introduced as the AES69 standard in 2015 with the goal of making an exchange of spatial data easy, efficient, and open to future extensions. SOFA specifications consider structured data description, data compression, network transfer, and linkage to complex room geometries or other data in a hierarchical way. In the meantime, SOFA has been picked up by many institutions and researchers, who developed SOFA programming interfaces for Matlab, Octave, C, C++, Python, Javascript, among others. Recently, SOFA has been revised to include new components. The revisions, also known as AES69-2020 and AES69-2022 standards, include new conventions for spatially continuous representation of emitters and receivers (by means of spherical harmonics, also known as Ambisonics), new conventions describing directivity of microphones, musical instruments, and loudspeakers, and new conventions describing multiple-input and multiple-output measurements of room impulse responses enabling complex interaction between sources and listeners (such as multiperspective representations). In this talk, we will introduce SOFA and describe its basic components focusing on the description of directivities of musical instruments, as well as other representations of spatially oriented data.

Analysis and modelling of bassoon directivity

ABSTRACT. Among all musical instruments the bassoon features one of the most complex directivities. Reasons are found in the broad frequency range of produced sounds, the bending of the air column and the multitude and diversity of potentially radiating tone holes. At low and mid frequencies, the radiation characteristics of wind instruments with one or two radiating openings of the air column can be approximated by a monopole and dipole, respectively. Instruments with more openings, however, exhibit more complex radiation patterns due to the broader variability of intensities, phase relations and superposition of the sources. Radiation patterns have been measured from a bassoon Wolf Model S2000, with a Bocal Wolf (Model N6) for three fingerings of the bassoon (tones Bb1, Eb3, F3) in a distance of 2 m from its centre, using a 3D turntable and a broad band excitation at the bocal of the instrument at a horizontal and vertical resolution of 5°. In parallel to the measured data, modelled directivities using a multiple source approach have been generated. The sources are represented by modified point sources with variable amplitudes and phases, informed by the geometric and acoustic conditions during performance of the three tones. For frequencies up to 1 kHz the radiation patterns of both, measurements and simulations agree for a rather small number of contributing sources. For higher frequencies, the complex radiation patterns can still be approximated with acceptable accuracy. Applications of the model are seen in education as well as for VR applications. The measurement data as well as the code of the radiation model are publicly available for own research. The modelling work has been part of the international collaborative projects ACTOR and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action/Innovative Training Networks project “VRACE – Virtual Reality Audio for Cyber Environments”.

Musical podia: Introduction to a measurement method to identify the acoustic properties

ABSTRACT. Musical podia are used in orchestras to improve the sight to the conductor by offering the musicians a raised seating position. Whereas brass and wind players can use risers integrated in the stage, string players, especially in the back of the sections, often use individual mobile podia. Soloists, usually playing the violoncello, use podia not only to be more visually present in front of the orchestra but also to raise the source height. The acoustical benefit of such podia is much discussed, but comprehensive scientific studies are not available as yet. Furthermore, the acoustical influence to room acoustics and musical acoustics is not considered thoroughly so far. However, manufacturers of podia advertise with an improvement in sound of the instruments that are played on those podia, especially musical instruments such as the cello or the double bass, which are played with an endpin placed on these podia. In order to analyse systematically the acoustic properties of musical podia, an applicable method has to be determined, where measurements are independent of influences of the instruments and musicians, but provide repeatable measurement results. Based on the measurement procedure for evaluation of string instruments by Ziegenhals, developed at IfM Zwota, data of frequency curves were collected in a series of measurements with different types of podia. Measurement results of podia, that are in use by professional orchestras, will be presented.

15:20-15:40Coffee Break
15:40-18:00 Session 10: organology
Trumpets in China's Qing Dynasty: Form, Function, and Terminology

ABSTRACT. During China’s Qing Dynasty (1644–1912), trumpets were used in military contexts for signaling and also in wedding and funeral processions. My study examines printed sources in Chinese, French, and English relating to Chinese trumpets, with the objective of illuminating the form and function of these instruments, as well as their changing terminology, during China’s last imperial dynasty. The Sancai tuhui (“Assembled Pictures of the Three Realms,” 1609), an encyclopedia from the late Ming Dynasty, is one of the earliest Chinese sources to describe and depict two basic types of trumpet: the laba, a long, straight instrument with a predominantly cylindrical bore expanding into a relatively wide bell; and the tongjiao, with a telescoping tube. Both of these types appear in two important printed sources from the eighteenth century, Yuzhi lülü zhengyi houbian (“The Secret of the Imperially Commissioned Proper Meaning of the Pitch Pipes,” 1746) and Huangchao liqi tushi (“Illustrations of Imperial Ritual Paraphernalia,” 1759–67). They are also depicted in Art militaire des chinois (“Military arts of the Chinese,” 1772) by the French Jesuit missionary Joseph-Marie Amiot, who further describes trumpet signals for military exercises. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries European scholars continued to write about Chinese trumpets, some of them in new forms and with new names. It was also at this time that museums in Europe and the United States began to acquire Chinese instruments. J. A. van Aalst (Chinese Music, 1884) describes the hao-t’ung, an instrument very similar to the tongjiao. Made of copper or of wood covered with copper, it was capable of sounding the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth tones of a harmonic series on C2. He also describes a variant form of the laba, with a curved bell. An instrument of the latter type is described by Victor-Charles Mahillon in his catalog of the Musical Instruments Museum in Brussels (1900). Yet another variant form is a nineteenth-century trumpet with two bells in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. With their limited tonal capability, early Chinese trumpets did not often play with other instruments, except for percussion in military contexts. They were used primarily in ceremonies and for signals.

Serpents, Bombardons, and the ‘Wiener’ Tuba: Richard Wagner and the evolution of the orchestral contrabass labrosone

ABSTRACT. As part of his continuous exploration and experimentation with acoustic, timbre and orchestration, Richard Wagner is credited with conceptualising, commissioning, and attempting to integrate several new brass instruments into the orchestra. To greater or lesser extents, they all eventually failed to enter mainstream performance practice, but with one notable exception. The contrabass tuba became and remains an obligatory instrument for professional tubists worldwide, today often being the only instrument heard in the first elimination round of orchestral auditions. Wagner’s contrabass tuba parts from Der Ring des Nibelungen are cornerstones of the orchestral tuba repertoire, but what instrument(s) he wrote for or came across at the time, and what the term ‘contrabass tuba’ itself means today are controversial topics.

In the early nineteenth century, the serpent was being pushed ever further out of its comfort zone by Wagner and other orchestral composers. Wagner was an ‘early adopter’ of many of the first experimental instruments with keys or valves, moving swiftly from inclusion of the serpent and/or ophicleide in his early Parisian operas to orchestrating specifically for ‘Basstuba’ in Tannhäuser as early as 1845, barely a decade after the instruments invention. Eight years later, he began to write for an instrument eventually referred to, somewhat ambiguously, as a ‘CB Tube’, thus generating a part for which extant musicological and organological research is scarce, one which continues to stimulate fierce debate amongst practitioners to this day.

This paper will discuss Wagner’s stated instrumental desires for Der Ring, the tuba-form instruments in common usage at the time, those known or hypothesised to have been used at the incomplete performances in Vienna in 1862 and Munich in 1869/70, and the ‘Wiener’ tuba used at the first Bayreuth cycle in 1876, as well as the extent to which they relate to instruments found today. It will also extend this discussion to question what is meant by terms such a ‘contrabass’, and how they relate to the aesthetic desires, technical demands and practical necessities encountered by composers and performers of both the mid- to late nineteenth century and the present day. Audio-visual demonstrations on a variety of tubas will illuminate the differences between these instruments, display the potential impact they have on broader pedagogical and performance practice-related issues with regard to a range of late Romantic repertoire, and also illustrate wider possibilities for knowledge exchange that can occur at the intersection of musicology, organology and performance-based research.

Nonlinear sound propagation and spectral enrichment in brass instruments.

ABSTRACT. The sound generating mechanism in a brass instrument is the flow control valve formed by the vibrating lips of the player. The modulation of the air flow through the lip channel results in an acoustic pressure in the mouthpiece which can exceed 10kPa for a loudly played note. In 1969 Beauchamp pointed out that at such a high amplitude linear acoustics is inadequate to describe the propagation of the pressure wave from the mouthpiece to the bell, and in 1996 Hirschberg et al. demonstrated that nonlinear sound propagation can lead to the formation of a shock wave in a trombone. Even for playing levels well below the threshold for shock wave generation, nonlinear propagation can make a major contribution to the high frequency content of the radiated sound. The extent of this spectral enrichment at a given dynamic level depends on the bore profile of the instrument, being greater for instruments with a large fraction of approximately cylindrical tubing and smaller for instruments which expand continuously from mouthpiece to bell. A brassiness potential parameter was first proposed by Pyle in 2006 to quantify the relationship between bore profile and spectral enrichment, and has proved to be a useful tool in brass instrument taxonomy. Subsequently several attempts have been made to derive a more general spectral enrichment parameter to account for differences in radial scale. In the present paper the definition of the brassiness potential parameter is reviewed, and a revised spectral enrichment parameter normalised to constant input sound power is presented. Comparisons are made between spectral enrichment predictions and the results of numerical simulations of nonlinear propagation in instruments of different types and sounding lengths.

Spectral enrichment prediction as an approach to the comparison of brass instrument designs

ABSTRACT. The most recent work on nonlinear sound propagation and spectral enrichment in brass instruments has produced a new formulation of a general spectral enrichment parameter that can be derived from the measured internal geometry of an instrument. The utility of this parameter in characterising recognised brasswind species is demonstrated and compared with the earlier approach using the brassiness potential parameter. The effectiveness of using spectral enrichment prediction to make fine distinctions between brass instrument models is explored, taking the generic designs of piston and rotary valved B-flat trumpets as an example.

Videographic Analysis of the Brass Player's Embouchure: Conclusions and Conjectures

ABSTRACT. While much remains uncertain regarding the scientific principles governing the oscillation of a brass player's lips, researchers continue to learn more through observation and experiments with new technology. One such device is the lipcam-- a mouthpiece with a digital video camera inserted into its cup, which is connected to a computer via USB interface. This technology allows the researcher to observe the oscillation of a brass player's lips in real time, under essentially normal performance conditions. This enables the researcher to learn about the particulars of specific musician's embouchure, and also discover more about the principles governing embouchures in general. In this presentation, observations gathered from five years of research with this technology will be shared. Videos of various types of embouchures will be compared and contrasted, identifying common patterns and hypothesizing a number of possible cause-and-effect relationships. The presenter will establish a probable sequence of events for various types of embouchures in an effort to develop actionable pedagogical instructions that may be helpful to all players, especially those suffering from a particular embouchure-related performance limitation. In addition, the presenter will demonstrate the lipcam in person for the attendees, allowing for real-time demonstration and observation. Questions to be addressed will include: Should the aperture be narrow and focused, or span a larger width within the mouthpiece? How does off-center mouthpiece placement affect response? Does an efficient embouchure "look" a certain way? Should the player begin with the lips together or apart? What valuable information can be learned from what is seen inside the mouthpiece before sound is produced? Special attention will be given to the role of the aperture with regard to pitch and dynamics. Presenter will provide pedagogical suggestions based on conclusions drawn from videographic observation of hundreds of embouchures.

The Art of the Band Instrument Endorsement Deal

ABSTRACT. Glowing over-the-top instrument endorsements—especially for cornets—make ubiquitous appearances to the point of banality in nineteenth- and early-twentieth century band periodicals. Seemingly every virtuoso and bandmaster testified to the superior traits of at least one maker’s craftsmanship. The unseen negotiations between manufacturers and musicians demonstrate a delicate balance of power that sometimes backfired. This paper will examine the process by which endorsement deals resulted in advertisement testimonials, using case studies to argue against the apparent uniformity of these deals. Both the makers and the performers made concessions in order to craft carefully worded statements. The manner in which the “world’s greatest cornetist,” Jules Levy, manipulated instrument manufacturers provides remarkable insights into the stiff competition over the largest endorsement deals. Levy originally endorsed Henry Distin’s cornets but abruptly switched to C. G. Conn in 1888. Distin made public accusations and a lawsuit nearly ensued when he continued to print Levy’s original endorsement letter. Conn would later sue Levy for breach of contract as well. John Philip Sousa’s dealings with Conn demonstrate the fine line that bandmasters had to walk between potential financial gain and forcing instruments on their performers. In 1891 David Blakely delicately negotiated Sousa’s first endorsement deal. Sousa, who still led the Marine Band, refused verbiage similar to that used by P. S. Gilmore in the previous year, arguing his position as a government employee made profiting from an endorsement unethical. In a series of letters between Blakely, Sousa, and Conn, the three parties became increasingly exasperated with each draft of the proposed endorsement letter, to the point where Blakely threatened to withhold $500 from Sousa’s contractual earnings if Conn withdrew his page-sized advertisement from the band’s concert programs. As a private bandmaster, Sousa’s Band was, by contractual obligation, an all-Conn ensemble until cornetist Frank Simon started playing on a Holton cornet and then publicly endorsed a Holton model that he helped design with Herbert L. Clarke. These cases demonstrate the extent to which the seemingly generic endorsement letter was actually a delicate exercise in business acumen for musicians wishing profit from their choices and to design or refine the instruments they played. Instrument manufacturers, for their part, showed little regard for ethical practices—paying cash and providing custom-built instruments as necessary to gain an endorsement, regardless of preexisting agreements between the musicians and other manufacturers.

Understand and predict acoustic properties of heritage instruments: the case of a Besson trumpet of the Musée de la Musique of Paris

ABSTRACT. Playing wind historical instruments is often conflicting with conservation and protection of museum collections. Some musical and acoustical properties of these instruments therefore remain unknown. Theoretical models can predict some of these properties from the only knowledge of the instruments geometry. A collaboration between Makutu Inria Bordeaux Sud Ouest team, Musée de la Musique - Philharmonie de Paris, Institut Technologique Européen des Métiers de la Musique (ITEMM) at Le Mans and the Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France (C2RMF), lead to a procedure hereby applied to the museum collection Besson, which was a leading manufacture of wind instruments, and more specifically to several natural trumpets dating from the early 20th century. The geometry of the instruments has been measured non invasively by means of X-ray tomography in C2RMF. After extracting their bore (evolution of the inner diameter), their entry impedance has been computed. For one specific trumpet (E.0925), simulated data have been compared to measurements with excellent agreement. Despite many uncertainties on the way these instruments were played, simulated sounds can be computed. An « acoustical facsimile » of E.0925 has been crafted from the X-ray and impedance data, and played by a professional natural trumpet player. This allows to compare simulated sounds with human played sounds.