on the physics of the harpsichord

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

We led joint mechanical modelling of the vibrating string with the tool used for plucking it, called plectrum. We then led an experiment to confront our theoretical model with the real physical mechanism. Our work enabled first quantitative investigations of the crafting of plectrums, known as the « voicing » process, which is highly rensponsible for the sound characteristics 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 ENS Paris-Saclay Bachelor’s program in Physics.

BSc Report (2012)

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