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Ernst Chladni (1756-1827),

linie 940

C38 Chladni top tilePerson 600due to his pioneering achievements, considered by many historians as the 'Father of Acoustics ". Chladni published in his writings "Discoveries about the Theory of Sound" of 1787, introdued a method, making sounds 'visible'. By dusting a thin plate of glass with sand and stimulating one of its edges with a violin bow, the plate started to vibrate, forming the sand into special patterns. The vibration generates several areas of nodes and antinodes, whereby the amplitudes of the antinodes move the sand to the non-moving nodal-lines.


Today the excitation is no longer carried out by a violin bow but with an acoustical irradiation by speakers, freely adjustable in frequency. If you hit with added sound pressure and the right frequency a certain resonance of the plate you can observe the explained Chladni-patterns appearing. They also can be called modes.


In the inserted video the experimental setup can be seen for a determination of resonances (modes) of a square plate.



While building a guitar the Chladni-Technique can be used to discover the resonances of the top. You sprinkle the top with well ground powder or tea and generate sound pressure by your speakers at a certain frequency range until the desired resonance appears. These modes are fundamentally involved in sound radiation and are thus carrying a big importance of sound quality of the guitar and therefore the guitarmaker is considered to be able to control them as much as possible. In further texts I will talk more about the Function of the Guitar.

Chladni-Pictures of one of my guitars

(The numbers signify the frequenzy position in Hz)

chladni moden 096 chladni moden 199 chladni moden 222
chladni moden 309 chladni moden 368 chladni moden 428
chladni moden 597

chladni moden 710

chladni moden 850


© 2013 by Dominik Wurth



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