Singing into my violin reveals that it resonates at about middle C or C#, yet these aren't wolf notes, which is fortunate. Err, and possibly also inexplicable!
That's the resonant frequency of the cavity resonance, usually pretty similar on most violins
The cavity resonance depends on the internal dimensions of the violin, which can, and does, vary. For example, my Jay Haide, a fairly standard 14" violin, has a clear internal resonance of D, whereas my old violin, a 14-1.4" with bout and rib dimensions pro rata, has a resonance of C.
Cavity resonance is explicable. The lack of wolf notes is what puzzles me.
I thought that the air resonance would enhance the sound, rather than create wolf notes... the "wolf note" is created by partial damping, surely?
The "Helmholz Resonance" of string instruments is related to the flow resistance due to the f-hole area and the top-plate thickness at the f-hole edges. This can be critical to viola sound. Some viola's cavity resonant pitch can be lowered by effectively making the top plate thicker at the f-hole edges. A strip of tape about 3/4" wide around most of the two f-holes* can make a big difference on some violas. I did this with one of my violas for 20 years until I found just the right string combination.
The air (cavity) resonance is strongest at one note, but is fairly spread across several, especially if the f-holes are large.
For many years I've been aware of an interesting resonance on my old violin (that's the 14-1/4" one), and it's apparently not related to the cavity resonance. No matter how strongly I play the 880Hz A on the E string it still does not sound quite as powerful as it should when compared with the G and B either side of it, played equally strongly.
Does one typically mute the strings when measuring the cavity resonances?
@Adrian "The most common wolf tone is centered on one strong note, either side of the open A". Yes, I've noticed for a while that I have to be careful when playing Bb or B. I'll check out the G more closely in a minute.
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