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Sensing lip protrusion and vibratory motion in the mouthpiece during trumpet playing using a Theremin

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


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Methods of measuring the acoustic variables in the mouthpiece of a brass instrument using microphones are well developed. Optical techniques are often used to good effect to visualise the lips of the player but determination of the three dimensional nature of the motion is hindered by refraction due to the shape of the mouthpiece. The electrical conductivity between the lips has also been utilised recently to study lip motion. In this study the protrusion into the mouthpiece and vibratory motion of the lips is sensed using their effect on the capacitance of a Theremin pitch antenna. The lips are found to generally protrude into the mouthpiece to a greater extent for higher pitch ranges and for higher dynamic levels. Bending significantly flat of an instrument resonance is found to require greater amplitude of lip motion (and implicitly greater mouth pressure) in order to maintain radiated sound pressure.


Original languageEnglish
Pages 137-142
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014
EventInternational Symposium on Musical Acoustics (ISMA 2014) - Le Mans, France
Duration: 7 Jul 201412 Jul 2014


ConferenceInternational Symposium on Musical Acoustics (ISMA 2014)
CityLe Mans

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