What’s on : Lectures

Physics and the Royal Fanfares: Scientific solutions to brass instrument mythology

Lectures
Date
25 Jun 2024
Start time
7:00 PM
Venue
Yorkshire Museum
Speaker
Dr Richard A. Smith
Physics and the Royal Fanfares: Scientific solutions to brass instrument mythology

Event Information

Physics and the Royal Fanfares: Scientific solutions to brass instrument mythology

Dr Richard A Smith  (Designer & Maker of Smith-Watkins trumpets)

Every musical instrument ever made is unique and cannot be duplicated.

Some instruments make short transient sounds (by hitting or plucking) and others are designed to produce a continuous sound using a harmonic generator (e.g. lips or reed in in a wide range of modifications) coupled to a resonator.

Up to the mid 20th century, discussion of these complex arrangements within the sphere of musical and physics education had been limited to the work of Pythagoras. While being theoretically accurate, the truth of the real world was not mentioned.

Since my first experiments in 1968 to the current day, I have developed equipment to measure the resonant frequencies of simple instruments like the natural trumpet. Demonstrations will show that none of the notes are harmonically related, but each can be adjusted by minute manipulation of the bore shape.

Various techniques are discussed concerning the choice of materials in instrument design (laser holography), blind testing of players for material choice and new instrument development.  Demonstrations will be shown that are designed to help musicians understand how their instruments work and what is important in finding the perfect instrument.

Since 2000, Smith natural trumpets are used by the Household Cavalry for all state events and sets of the chromatic valved fanfare instruments are played for many monarchs and presidents around the world.

7pm in the Tempest Anderson Lecture Theatre in the Yorkshire Museum.

Please note that the YPS AGM will take place at 6.30pm so non members need to arrive after 6.45pm.

All welcome to this free event; although donations are welcome.