On the strike note of bells
online resourceposted on 20.10.2006, 09:52 by Gerry Swallowe, R. Perrin
A strike note, characteristic of the particular bell, is heard when a bell is struck. It is observed that the pitch of this note sometimes does not correspond to the frequency of any one of the bell’s normal modes. The origin of this strike note has been a subject of controversy for over 100 years. Previous empirical investigations have mainly made use of musically trained listeners and real or recorded bell sounds. The short duration of the actual strike note and possible influence of musical training on observations may invalidate the conclusions of previous investigators. In this work use has been made of computer generated simulated bell sounds and untrained listeners. It is demonstrated that a strike note may be isolated by beating with a pure test tone and this technique is used to investigate 28 bell-like sounds using a total of 60 listeners. It is concluded that virtual pitch theory provides the best method of predicting the presence or absence of a strike note and its frequency, but that it does not work in every case.