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Revista Brasileira de Ensino de Física

Print version ISSN 1806-1117

Abstract

HINRICHSEN, Haye. Entropy-based tuning of musical instruments. Rev. Bras. Ensino Fís. [online]. 2012, vol.34, n.2, pp. 1-8. ISSN 1806-1117.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1806-11172012000200004.

The human sense of hearing perceives a combination of sounds 'in tune' if the corresponding harmonic spectra are correlated, meaning that the neuronal excitation pattern in the inner ear exhibits some kind of order. Based on this observation it is suggested that musical instruments such as pianos can be tuned by minimizing the Shannon entropy of suitably preprocessed Fourier spectra. This method reproduces not only the correct stretch curve but also similar pitch fluctuations as in the case of high-quality aural tuning.

Keywords : classical physics; acoustics; biophysics.

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