Modeling of the harpsichord

Harpsichord is a plucked keyboard instrument. It is the predecessor of the pianoforte and the modern piano. It belongs to the group of plucked string instruments due to its excitation mechanism. The keyboard of the harpsichord typically spans four or five octaves. As the player pushes down a key on the keyboard, the lever moves up. This action causes a mechanism to pluck the string with a quill or plectrum. When the key is released replucks are avoided with a spring mechanism. A harpsichord has one or two manuals that control two to four sets of strings, also called registers or string choirs. Two of the string choirs are typically tuned in unison.

The following table lists our harpsichord-related research in inverse chronological order. For some publications, the PDF-file and a companion web-page containing sound examples are provided. These can be found in the leftmost column.

Publication Short description

Välimäki, V., Penttinen, H., Knif, J., Laurson, M., and Erkut, C., ''Sound synthesis of the harpsichord using a computationally efficient physical model,'' EURASIP Journal on Applied Signal Processing, no. 7, pp. 934-948, 15 June 2004. Special Issue on on Model-Based Sound Synthesis.
A sound synthesis algorithm for the harpsichord has been developed by applying the principles of digital waveguide. The model introduces a modification to the loop filter, the ripple filter. The ripple filter enables more flexible control over the decay rates of partials than is possible than with a one-pole filter. The model also includes a model for the soundbox and soundboard. A second-order resonator approximately simulates the beating effect appearing in many harpsichord tones. The characteristic key-release thump terminating harpsichord tones is reproduced by triggering a sample that has been extracted from a recording.
Välimäki, V., Penttinen, H., Laurson, M., Erkut, C., and Knif, J., ''Model-Based Sound Synthesis of the Harpsichord,'' in Proceedings of Baltic-Nordic Acoustics Meeting 2004 (BNAM2004), Mariehamn, Aland, June 8-10, 2004. CD-ROM Proceedings.
Discusses the synthesis method as above (EURASIP Journal), but discusses the parameters of the synthesis in more detail.
Välimäki, V., Penttinen, H., Knif, J., Laurson, M., and Erkut, C., ''Cembalon äänen analyysi ja synteesi,'' in Proceedings of Akustiikkapäivät 2003, pp. 129-134, Turku, Finland, October 6-7, 2003. in Finnish.
Describes the harpsichord synthesis method for a Finnish audience.

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Last modified: Mon Jan 2 09:07:08 EET 2006
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