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New Music Concepts 2018

The challenges of classical guitar FEM modelling

Part of the New Music Concepts book series (NMC volume 5)
ISBN: 978-88-6551-278-4

Author(s): Monika Sobolewska, Piotr A. Nowak, Aleksandra Majchrzak, Katarzyna Baruch, Adam Pilch

Abstract: The aim of the present paper is to discuss the most problematic aspects of modelling the classical guitar using the Finite Elements Method (FEM). In spite of being a powerful tool that can be used for designing, modifying and simulating the musical instruments, the numerical modelling is also a very complex method, demanding the profound understanding of physics of the modelled objects. Moreover, being a model that only imitates the reality, the FEM also assumes several simplifications. As a solution for the discussed problems, the concept of a modular guitar is introduced. It brings the possibility of defining the influence of particular guitar construction elements on the acoustic parameters of the instrument and therefore leads to more aware use of FEM while modelling the classical guitar. The awareness of the limitations of the method itself, combined with the understanding of the mechanics and acoustics of the instrument can result in creating a very effective solution both for luthiers experimenting with new construction concepts and scientists working in the field of musical instruments acoustics.

Keywords: classical guitar, finite elements method, modular guitar, numerical modelling