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Q & A: String vibrations of a plucked musical instrument

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Most recent answer: 12/24/2013
the sound wave produced while plucking the string of the veena is transverse or longitudinal or both
- viji (age 14)

Hello viji,

The plucked modes are mainly transverse. They are tunable by adjusting the tension in the string as well as their fretted lengths. Longitudinal modes do exist but they are in general of high frequency, not tunable, and not easily excited by plucking.  The longitudinal mode frequencies are given by multiples of V/L where V is the velocity of sound in the string, typically a few thousand meters per second, and L is the length of the string in meters: a bit high for pleasant listening.






(published on 12/24/2013)

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