Acoustics - 2nd semester


a) To provide a strong understanding of the physical principles relevant to the generation of sound, including the functioning of musical instruments
b) To give a thorough understanding of acoustic phenomena, including the outdoors and indoors sound propagation as well as the perception of musical sound
c) To have a technical understanding of how musical instruments behave for effective instrumental practice

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Vincent Debut


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Campbell, M. & Greated, C. (1988). The musician´s guide to Acoustics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Eller, E. J. (2012). Why you hear what you hear: an experiential approach to sound, music and psychoacoustics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Fletcher, N. H. & Rossing, T. D. (1998) The physics of musical instruments. New-York: Springer-Verlag.
Henrique, L. (2002). Acústica Musical. Lisboa: F. C. Gulbenkian
Pierce, J. R. (1992). The science of musical sounds. New-York: W.H. Freeman & Co.
Rossing, T. D. (1990). The science of sound. New York: Addison-Wesly Publishing Company.

Teaching method

Lectures with classroom demonstration experiments, including examples with real musical instruments, virtual animations based on physical modeling of instruments and sound samples - and also discussions

Evaluation method

Two written tests (50% + 50%).

Subject matter

1. Physical principles relevant to acoustic phenomena
2. Production, propagation and perception of acoustic phenomena
3. Vibrations in simple systems including strings, bars and membranes, as well as acoustic tubes
4. The acoustics of rooms
5. Perception of musical sounds
6. Analysis and manipulation of musical sounds


Programs where the course is taught: