has grown significantly from medieval Europe to its current westernform. is defined according to its relevance to tones,performances, historical period and compositions. In addition, musicis embedded within the rules of composition, performance andharmonics. has various similarities with engineering. Thefollowing paper seeks to compare musical elements as proliferated inelectrical engineering.
Oneof the similarities in terms and concepts is the aspect of pitch. Inmusic, one of the common descriptions of tones is decorative pitches.According to Kougias and Theodosiou, decorative pitches arecharacterized by variations in consonants from a chord-tone to anon-chorded tone (4). The characteristic feature of decorative pitchis the application of dissonance realized through suspension andpassing of tones in a musical beat.
Whena chord is sustained in music, tones are passed throughout the beatsto arrive in an accented beat. Similarly, pitches are very common inelectrical engineering. Electrical engineering identifies pitches asthe axial distances between adjacent screw threads. Thecharacteristic screws are referred to as single stat screws withequal pitches and leads. Just as in music where pitches are meant totransform tones through consonants, the pitches in electricalengineering are meant for rotating a screw or helix during a completeturn. Pitches are therefore movement aspects in both engineering andmusic. They generate complete turns, ensure there is full turnaroundfrom a tone to another in music, and thread to the next in electricalengineering.
and engineering use harmonics and vibrations in most of theirapplications. is distinctively associated with the physicalvibrations of strings, membranes, chords, including vocals andorgans, to produce distinctive notes. Notes are defined as mereproductions of arranged sounds from vibrations of composers orinstruments. A combination of musical notes leads to arrangement andproduction of chords. These chords serve as the fundamentalprinciples of music. has major chords, which form an octave.Although there have been slight advancements in chords, octavesremain the underlying aspects of music.
Thesimilarity between music and engineering in terms of notes,vibrations and harmonics is the physical definitions of vibrations interms of frequency, amplitude and velocity. When a string is pluckedin music, it vibrates to produce the required note or sound. Thissound is characterized by specific frequency, which is associatedwith speed and amplitude, which is associated with pitch. When a noteis struck in music, the highness or lowness of its pitch isinfluenced by the frequency and amplitude of vibration. Low-pitchedsounds have very large amplitude.
Inengineering, velocity of vibration is comparable to pitch in music.When a wire or any material vibrates in engineering, it produceswaves. These waves can be either longitudinal or transverse. Intransverse waves, the direction of a wave is perpendicular to itsdisplacement. Consequently, parallel movement of a waves’displacement with its direction characterizes longitudinal waves.When low notes are played in music, they produce very higheramplitudes to high notes. The high amplitude slows the displacementper unit time, in this case, velocity and the frequency is usuallydistorted and slows, leading to low-pitched sound.
Whenwe speak of harmonics, one of the considerations is the essence ofnotes and frequency. In music, harmonics are identified according tothe length of vibrations. The first harmonics is founded on theability to generate a full cycle or vibration along the whole lengthof a beat. In engineering, instead, the main agenda is to ensure thatfrequencies vibrate along their source of energy as well as withinthe amplitudes and velocities.
Thetempo in music is similar to velocity in electrical engineering. Thetempo in music is a measure of how fast or how slow music plays. Inmost instances, high tempo songs are characterized by a fast rhythm,or frequency in electric signals. Rhythms deal with the aspect ofplay-over time. It assesses how beats move over time. Similarly,electric signals are measured in terms of hertz, or the measure ofelectromagnetic fields per second. Fast-tempo music is comparable toa fast travelling wave (sinus) with a velocity equal to the tempo anda frequency equal to its rhythm.
travels through air in the form of a longitudinal waves orcompression waves. When music plays, the sound is transmitted throughair, water or solid. For example, a singer using a microphone willhave to transmit the sound through the microphone (solid), and laterthrough air in order to reach the eardrums of the listeners.Similarly, the songs made by whales in the ocean are transmittedthrough water before reaching the air. Without these media, soundcannot be heard across the performing and listening parties.
Inelectrical engineering, sound travels as a longitudinal wave that ischaracterized by parallel movement of displacement and direction ofthe wave. Longitudinal waves produce compressions and rarefactions,in order to travel through media. in a compression, an item’sdensity expands, leading to compression of the wave and in ararefaction, an item’s density compresses, thus allowing for anexpansion of the wave.
is also characterized by tuning. This is the aspect of ensuring thatevery pitch vibrates at a specific number of cycles per second. Inelectrical engineering, sound and signals are propagated throughamplification. Amplification is the aspect of boosting the amplitudeof a wave to avoid decay. During propagation of a wave or signal, heamplitude is affected by the transmitting media, causing asignificant decay in frequency and velocity. The velocity of a waveis calculated as the product of frequency and wavelength. However,the frequency is calculated as the number of oscillations per time.The frequency’s SI unit is hertz, which is a reciprocal of time.
Duringa wave’s propagation, the velocity is affected by friction and thequality of the transmitting material. However, amplification booststhe amplitude and frequency, causing the sound to increase andsending the waves a longer distance. Engineering and technology arecorrelated in many ways. One of the significant issues surroundingmusic is the acoustic features found in engineering. In engineeringharmonics are defined as sinusoidal component of a periodic wave witha frequency, which serves as an integral multiple of the fundamentalfrequency. In music, harmonics are referred to as overtones. Theovertones are responsible for differentiating the sounds made bydifferent musical instruments and specific performers. In music,clarinets do not sound like flutes. The distinctions are caused byovertones or variations in frequencies.
Inelectrical generators, the electric power is produced in a voltagewaveform with only one frequency. The frequency in the voltagewaveform is referred to as the fundamental frequency. The frequencyof harmonics varies according to the value of the fundamentalfrequency. Although harmonics are considered as dangerous in largevoltages, their significance in music is unrivaled. Harmony is one ofthe founding principles in music since it involves the use ofinstantaneous pitches or chords in a performance.
Theinstantaneous chords and pitches are comparable to the simultaneouspresence of frequencies in fundamental frequencies of waves inengineering. performances are comparable to power distributionin electrical engineering that starts from the generating station anddistributes across step up transformers, to the transmission lines tosubstation step down and finally to the customers. In music,especially in a choir, the choirmaster is the generating station. Heis responsible for initiating movements and preparedness among thechoir members. As the generating station (choirmaster) releases thesignal, the step-up transformer (soloist) takes over. The soloistacts as the step up transformer since he/she starts the music at thepreferred pitch and note. In addition, the soloist establishes thetempo for the song.
Thetransmission lines are the choir members. They are responsible fordistributing the music across halls, theatres and other performancehalls. In most cases, the transmission wires transmit (signals) musicdirectly to the customers. However, a step down can also occurtowards the end of the music when the soloist changes the tone andthe tempo of the song. The similarities between these issues make thetwo fields inter-twinned and function within the same parameters.
Inmusical performances, musicians usually generate stress due tooverworking or inadequate rests. Similarly, the danger is present inelectrical engineering. Most homes are overloaded with electricalappliances connected to the mains electricity supply. Theseappliances emit electric and magnetic fields that cause electricalfields, which are dangerous to humans.
Kougias,I and Theodosiou, N. ANew -Inspired Harmony Based Optimization Algorithm. Theory AndApplications.2011. Web. 11 April. 2014.