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From the Father of the Mark II
on May 10, 2000
The science of musical sound has evolved a great deal since 1966 when the second edition of 'Music, Physics and Engineering' was first published. However, this historical work can be of value to musical engineers even in today's fast changing technological world.
The author, Harry F. Olson was staff vice president of the acoustical and electromechanical research department of RCA laboratories. The thorough science reported in this book was perhaps instrumental in the development of the RCA Mark II Electronic Music Synthesizer of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center.
Chapters such as: Sound Waves, Musical Terminology, Musical Scales, Resonators and Radiators, Musical Instruments, Characteristics of Musical Instruments and Properties of Music have much to teach those with an engineering background about the science of music.
This book has been extraordinarily useful to me in seeking to design sound events in software with nothing other than a 'C' compiler and some audio file format spec sheets to work with. It is a great read for the aspiring musical engineer.