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Intensities of Orchestral Instrument Scales Played at Prescribed Dynamic Markings

The intensities of scales played on nonpercussive orchestral instruments at various dynamic markings and the resulting dynamic ranges are reported. We are able to deduce the size of quanta corresponding to one step in a dynamic marking and the numer of quanta in the dynamic range of a musical instrument using deviations from smoothed curves. The average dynamic range of the nonpercussive orchestral instruments is about 11 db between the dynamic markings of pianissimo and fortissimo; the average intensity level at 10 meters is about 59 db re 0.0002 dynes/cm/2.

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JAES Volume 13 Issue 2 pp. 151-157; April 1965
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