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#984769 - 01/02/05 04:03 PM Frequency of high versus low notes.
DarenT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/18/04
Posts: 96
Loc: Vancouver, BC
This may be an academic question, nothing affecting my playing, but I am curious. I do not have a piano so cannot check but do I assume correctly that the low notes have shorter strings than the high notes. And as I have heard that opera singers at the higher notes can shatter glass I assume the higher notes have the higher vibrations. So I am wondering what the difference in number of vibrations per second would be for the low end of the keyboard to the upper end, assuming an 88 key board (I only have five octaves on my electronic keyboard).

Thank you.
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#984770 - 01/02/05 04:25 PM Re: Frequency of high versus low notes.
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
i remember however that lower notes have longer strings and higher ones have shorter strings. if you open the lid of a acoustic piano (grand/upright), you should see it yourself. (check your teacher's one if you don't have one).

btw, if you post this in "Piano Tuner" forum, then many technicians there would have the answer to your question.

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#984771 - 01/02/05 04:44 PM Re: Frequency of high versus low notes.
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 24039
Loc: Oakland
An 88-note keyboard goes from 27.5 Hz to 4186 Hz.

The only way you can shatter glass with sound is with very loud sound at precisely the resonant frequency of the glass.
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#984772 - 01/02/05 08:15 PM Re: Frequency of high versus low notes.
Lightnin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/04
Posts: 210
There is a chart of piano key frequencies at
http://www.vibrationdata.com/piano.htm
which should identify the end frequencies for the 5 octave keyboard too.

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#984773 - 01/03/05 06:28 AM Re: Frequency of high versus low notes.
mound Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 782
Loc: Rochester, NY
I believe the strings are all the same length, they are thicker in the bass and thinner in the treble. just like on a guitar -same length, thicker strings.
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"You look hopefully for an idea and then you're humble when you find it and you wish your skills were better. To have even a half-baked touch of creativity is an honor."
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#984774 - 01/03/05 06:52 AM Re: Frequency of high versus low notes.
seebechstein Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/04
Posts: 1085
Loc: houston
I suggest y'all search for "physics vibrating string" on google. You need a lesson.
 Quote:
f = (1 / 2L) (T / u)^1/2 where f is frequency, T is tension and u is mass per unit length of the string[/b]
If so, then higher notes are produced either by shortening the string (making L smaller) or by increasing the tension on the string, or by decreasing the mass per unit length on the string. All three are employed on the acoustic piano; the most dramatic of the three are string length variations from a few inches for the highest notes to several feet for the lowest.

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#984775 - 01/04/05 02:14 AM Re: Frequency of high versus low notes.
DarenT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/18/04
Posts: 96
Loc: Vancouver, BC
Thank you all. Lightnin's referenced site at http://www.vibrationdata.com/piano.htm has it all and confirms what BDB posted.
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