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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

Gualala Arts Lecture Series presents:
The Physics of Musical Instruments

with Bryant Hichwa
Monday, September 28, 2009, 7:00 p.m.
Admission is $5

The Physics of Musical Instruments, with Bryant Hichwa Gualala Arts is pleased to present a lecture by Bryant Hichwa titled "The Physics of Musical Instruments" on Monday, September 28 at 7:00 p.m. Join Bryant and four professional musicians in exploring how musical instruments work.

We have all wondered what makes a Stradivarius violin so special. Is it the shape of the violin or the wood it's made of or possibly the varnish finish? You may have enjoyed a concert piece played on a "Strad." When one listens to such an instrument, you know it's special. But is there scientific evidence to give us more insight into what makes these instruments stand apart?

The Physics of Musical Instruments, with Bryant Hichwa During this lecture Bryant and his musician colleagues will demonstrate string, woodwind, brass and various percussion instruments. He will take a violin apart in order to gain an understanding of what produces the wonderful complex tones. He'll demonstrate the standing waves produced when we bow or pluck a string and show the harmonic spectrum of various woodwinds such as the clarinet and sax. Finally the audience will be involved to demonstrate a number of unique percussion instruments from around the world.

About Bryant Hichwa

Bryant Hichwa is Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy at Sonoma State University and a recent recipient of the campus teaching award; he teaches an upper level General Education class titled "The Physics of Music." He has appeared as an invited guest on NPR's Science Friday discussing the physics of musical instruments. Bryant is a committed environmentalist; President of the Board of Audubon Canyon Ranch; past president of Sonoma County's Madrone Audubon Society; an avid birdwatcher and semi-professional nature photographer.

The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.