Nonlinear Systems

  • Thomas D. Rossing
  • Neville H. Fletcher


Many of the mechanical elements comprising a musical instrument behave approximately as linear systems. By this we mean that the acoustic output is a linear function of the mechanical input, so that the output obtained from two inputs applied simultaneously is just the sum of the outputs that would be obtained if they were applied separately. For this statement to be true for the instrument as a whole, it must also be true for all its parts, so that deflections must be proportional to applied forces, flows to applied pressures, and so on. Mathematically, this property is reflected in the requirement that the differential equations describing the behavior of the system are also linear, in the sense that the dependent variable occurs only to the first power.


Musical Instrument Exciting Force Multimode System Spring Coefficient Simple Oscillator 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas D. Rossing
    • 1
  • Neville H. Fletcher
    • 2
  1. 1.Physics DepartmentNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA
  2. 2.Department of Physical Sciences Research School of Physical Sciences and EngineeringAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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