Wine glass sound excitation by mechanical coupling to plucked strings

Lior Arbel, Yoav Y. Schechner, Noam Amir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Wine glasses can be used to produce musical sounds using various excitation mechanisms. In this work a method for producing wine glass sounds is proposed, consisting of coupling a string to a wine glass. The coupled string-glass system produces sounds by transmitting vibrations from the string to the glass. The glass reacts sympathetically, much like sympathetic strings on instruments like the Sitar. Two methods for creating acoustic coupling between the string and glass are developed; one by direct contact between the two and one by using a custom designed coupling component. In the latter, a coupling mechanism transmits vibrations from the string to the glass while maintaining some geometric distance between the two. The coupling component is designed through an optimization process composed of two stages in order to maximize the intensity of the glass sound. The proposed coupling method can be used as the basis for designs of wine glass instruments, adding to the existing excitation methods of striking, bowing and rubbing. Some prototypes of such instruments are suggested here. These instruments may have the combined spectra and sound characteristics of both strings and wine glasses, offering timbres and playing techniques different from those of existing wine glass instruments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Acoustics
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Instrument design
  • Optimization
  • String coupling
  • Sympathetic resonance
  • Wine glass

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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