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Physics - Music - 14.10.2019
Super light dampers for low tones
Super light dampers for low tones
A team of Empa acoustic researchers has built macroscopic crystal structures that use internal rotation to attenuate the propagation of waves. The method makes it possible to build very light and stiff materials that can also "swallow" low frequencies very well, as they report Communicatons. The world of crystals offers many interesting properties: crystals can strike electric sparks in disposable lighters, for example, they can produce polarized light and they can scatter bundled X-rays into thousands of individual reflexes that are refracted in all spatial directions.

Music - Materials Science - 08.10.2019
Romantic Replicas
Romantic Replicas
To play a piece of music as it was conceived by the composer is a trend. But where can the rare historical instruments be found? The solution would be exact copies of the coveted originals. A team of Empa researchers is analysing such replicas with the aim of reproducing historical trombones with their typical sound.

Music - Materials Science - 08.10.2019
An Open Ear for Noise
An Open Ear for Noise
A rippling stream is Jean-Marc Wunderli's favourite sound. However, his everyday research has little to do with calming natural sounds. He deals with completely different ones: noise from aircraft turbines, train noise, busy roads, wind turbines and now even drones. All these emissions are part of the research activities of Empa's Acoustics / Noise Control Lab, which Wunderli is heading since last July.

Music - 09.09.2019
Building Blocks of Bird Babble Identified
Building Blocks of Bird Babble Identified
A new study by an international team headed by the University of Zurich sheds light on whether animal vocalizations, like human words, are constructed from smaller building blocks. By analyzing calls of the Australian chestnut-crowned babbler, the researchers have for the first time identified the meaning-generating building blocks of a non-human communication system.

Music - Life Sciences - 17.07.2019
How the brain distinguishes between voice and sound
How the brain distinguishes between voice and sound
Researchers at UNIGE and at Maastricht University have demonstrated that the brain adapts to a person's listening intentions by focusing either on a speaker's voice or on the speech sounds that are being uttered.

Music - 06.06.2019
Decoding Beethoven's music style using data science
Decoding Beethoven's music style using data science
What makes Beethoven sound like Beethoven? EPFL researchers have completed a first analysis of Beethoven's writing style, applying statistical techniques to unlock recurring patterns. EPFL researchers are investigating Beethoven's composition style and they are using statistical techniques to quantify and explore the patterns that characterize musical structures in the Western classical tradition.

Linguistics / Literature - Music - 14.03.2019
Diet-Induced Changes Favor Innovation in Speech Sounds
Diet-Induced Changes Favor Innovation in Speech Sounds
Diet-induced changes in the human bite resulted in new sounds such as "f" in languages all over the world, a study by an international team led by researchers at the University of Zurich has shown. The findings contradict the theory that the range of human sounds has remained fixed throughout human history.

Music - Materials Science - 05.03.2019
Virtual noise
Virtual noise
Railway noise is annoying. Trains cause numerous sleepless nights, especially in the vicinity of residential areas. This makes it all the more important to optimize trains and tracks in such a way as to dampen sounds. Empa researchers have devised a computer simulation that demonstrates how railway noise is created in the first place and which technical measures are effective in preventing it.