on the physics of the harpsichord

My Bachelor’s research project studied the physics of string plucking in the harpsichord.

We first led physical modelling of the vibrating string along with the plectrum—a small object used for plucking the string. We then led an experiment to confront our theoretical model with the material mechanism. Our work enabled first quantitative investigations of the crafting of plectrums, known as “voicing”, which is highly rensponsible for producing typical sounds of the harpsichord.


The project was developed with Jean-Loïc Le Carrou and Sandie Leconte, in collaboration with the LAM group of ∂’Alembert (UPMC) and Philharmonie de Paris, in the context of the Bachelor’s program in Physics of ENS Paris-Saclay.

BSc Report (2012)

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