Combination tones in the violin
Angela Lohri; Sandra Carral; Vasileios Chatziioannou

This study investigates the appearance of combination tones in violins.
An experiment was performed in which a violinist played a particular musical interval as accurately as possible. This interval was recorded and then subsequently analysed using a Fourier Transformation. In addition to the partial tones of the primary interval the resulting spectrum showed frequencies which correspond to combination tones. Such particular frequencies may influence the timbre of musical intervals played on the violin.
With our newly devised tone matrix one can compute all potential combination tones that can occur between any pairs of partial tones. The detailed analysis of musical intervals by both the frequency spectrum and the tone matrix show in their partial tone structure characteristic mirror and point symmetries.
It is hoped that this research will lead to results relevant for composers, interpreters and violin acousticians. The presentation will be interactive and includes practical examples.