Incorporating musical instrument design into a freshmen engineering course

Howard Medoff, Janice Marie Margle, Stephen Stace

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Technical interests and achievements of freshmen engineering students need to be encouraged. Developing strategies to increase the participation and enjoyment of these students in understanding and experiencing the design process is the basis for this project. It involves designing, building, and testing a simple stringed instrument. All work is done in teams. A combination demo/hands-on exercise is being developed for inclusion as the design component of a freshmen engineering design and graphics course. The purpose of the exercise is to expose students to designing and building a simple stringed instrument. This instrument includes a strain gage to (indirectly) measure string tension which is then compared to mathematical models and resulting musical pitch. This musical pitch is analyzed using commercially available software that receives input from a contact microphone mounted on the instrument's body. Student teams document all information through reports and in-class presentations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3903-3910
Number of pages8
JournalASEE Annual Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003
Event2003 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Staying in Tune with Engineering Education - Nashville, TN, United States
Duration: Jun 22 2003Jun 25 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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