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Harmonics of Harmon mutes


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During my searching on harmon mutes, I ran across the brief summary that a student did as a summer project as part of his physics coursework.  I was intrigued by his conclusion of large denting of Harmon mutes and the effect on the sound when using that mute.  Curious, as my old Harmon mute is quite banged up...


"Placing dents and holes in Harmon mutes were found largely to degrade the sound of the instrument. This is because changes to the resonance of the mute affects the resonances of the trumpet. It was found that small amounts of denting could change the tone in a positive way and even make the mute louder. Perhaps dented mutes would be suited for section work in jazz orchestras and undented mutes are better for solos and small format groups. The distinctive sound of the Harmon probably comes from the raised set of peaks around 3000 Hz seen in the sound spectra. This sound and these peaks go away when the mute is modified too much."

The Acoustics of Harmon Mutes Zach Armstrong, Rand Worland Department of Physics, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA

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