What About the Tailpiece?

  • Jacques Pigneret

Abstract

The impact of the tailpiece on the mechanical energy collected by the bridge has been studied on a
rig simulating a viola without body. Fine measurements of the strings, bridge and tailpiece motions
have been accumulated for a large domain of geometrical and physical parameters of connected
elements. Going from the monocord to one string with a tailpiece, then to two strings in symmetric
or asymmetric mode of connection, analysis has revealed the different resonances at the origin of
the amplitude and sound tone modulations observed in the bridge motion. This motion is the input
to the body vibration. For frequencies lower than 2000 hz, we show that the tailpiece parameters
like mass or inertia, and the attachment cord have low effect in regard of the length of the after
strings on the detected resonances on the bridge. Selective lengthening of these after strings,
connected to an asymmetric tailpiece, can increase the partials of the played notes, without any
large impact on the mean available energy.

Published
2018-09-19
Section
Articles