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Materials Engineering Group

Research /Students / Su Sampson

Suzanne Sampson

+44 (0) 1908 653060

Student Project;
The effect of wall material on the sound produced by musical wind instruments

Academic Supervisor; Dr. David Sharpe, Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick


My PhD project is entitled “A study of the effect of wall material on the sound produced by lip-reed instruments” .

Before starting my PhD I worked in the acoustics department in the automotive industry.

I had previously graduated with a MSc in Music Information Technology after having first obtained a BEng with honors in Mechatronics. I wanted to integrate my professional knowledge with my qualifications and musical interest and research a project in the musical acoustics field.

In the study of musical wind instruments, a great deal of work has been carried out on understanding the vibration of the air column. This is not surprising as the shape of the air column is the dominant factor in determining the playing characteristics of an instrument. Until recently, the mechanical vibrations of an instrument's walls have been considered of minor importance. However, this assumption is now beginning to be questioned. Many instrument makers and players have claimed to be able to distinguish between sounds produced by instruments manufactured from different materials. Consequently, the possibility that wall material, thickness and finish can all significantly affect the sound of an instrument is the subject of my research.

Research Supervisors: Dr Mike Fitzpatrick and Dr David Sharp

If you would like to contact me for further information please use the details below.

Suzanne Sampson
Department of Design, Development, Environment and Materials
Faculty of MCT
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes

Telephone +44 (0)1908 655256


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