Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Rossing, Thomas D., 1929-

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Physics


Percussion instruments--Acoustics


The Caribbean steelpan and an instrument closely related, the HANG, are two of the most, interesting acoustic musical instruments developed in the last century. Although simple in design, the acoustic properties of the steelpan and HANG are surprisingly complicated. Holographic interferometry was used to determine the resonances of a low tenor steelpan and a pentatonic HANG. Placement of a vibrating mirror in the optical path of the reference beam expands the capabilities of the holography system to include phase measurements. Phase maps and phase response curves of several low resonances of notes on a steelpan and HANG are shown. Sound intensity measurements were acquired to explore the relationship between the resonances and the radiated sound field. The instruments were placed in an anechoic chamber, and selected notes were excited electromagnetically with a swept sinusoid signal. A two-microphone probe was used to gather sound intensity measurements. Sound intensity reaps of the first three harmonics are shown for notes on both instruments.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 80-83).


xi, 102 pages (some color pages)




Northern Illinois University

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