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The Resonant Tuning Factor: A New Measure for Quantifying the Setup and Tuning of Cylindrical Drums

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A single circular drumhead produces complex and in-harmonic vibration characteristics. However, with cylindrical drums, which have two drumheads coupled by a mass of air, it is possible to manipulate the harmonic relationships through changing the tension of the resonant drumhead. The modal ratio between the fundamental and the batter head overtone therefore provides a unique and quantified characteristic of the drum tuning setup, which has been termed as the Resonant Tuning Factor (RTF). It may be valuable, for example, for percussionists to manipulate the RTF value to a perfect musical fifth, or to simply enable a repeatable tuning setup. This research therefore considers a number of user interfaces for analyzing the RTF and providing a tool for quantitative drum tuning.

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