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Materials Innovation in Acoustic Guitars: Challenging the Tonal Superiority of Wood

Materials Innovation in Acoustic Guitars: Challenging the Tonal Superiority of Wood The authors explore perceived sound properties of acoustic guitars built with foamed polycarbonate soundboards rather than spruce or cedar. The research seeks to establish the extent to which polymer acoustic guitars are an acoustically credible alternative to wood instruments. Data are generated through participation by members of the public (n = 320) in blind listening tests. Remarkably, participants are found unable to distinguish much beyond a 50% success rate whether sound originates from wood or polymer acoustic guitars. The findings challenge deeply rooted ideas about traditional material-instrument relationships and champion the use of design as a driver for instrument innovation and artistic engagement. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Leonardo Music Journal MIT Press

Materials Innovation in Acoustic Guitars: Challenging the Tonal Superiority of Wood

Leonardo Music Journal , Volume December 2012 (22) – Dec 1, 2012

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Publisher
MIT Press
Copyright
© 2012 ISAST
Subject
Performance
ISSN
0961-1215
eISSN
1531-4812
DOI
10.1162/LMJ_a_00087
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The authors explore perceived sound properties of acoustic guitars built with foamed polycarbonate soundboards rather than spruce or cedar. The research seeks to establish the extent to which polymer acoustic guitars are an acoustically credible alternative to wood instruments. Data are generated through participation by members of the public (n = 320) in blind listening tests. Remarkably, participants are found unable to distinguish much beyond a 50% success rate whether sound originates from wood or polymer acoustic guitars. The findings challenge deeply rooted ideas about traditional material-instrument relationships and champion the use of design as a driver for instrument innovation and artistic engagement.

Journal

Leonardo Music JournalMIT Press

Published: Dec 1, 2012

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