Carbon Fibre and Acoustics
Carbon is the most common chemical element found in nature. Diamonds, plants and most natural organisms consist of carbon. The first technical use of carbon fibre was Edison's lamp, where he carbonized cotton to create an incandescent filament.

In the 1900s a new group of materials called composites appeared. Carbon fibre is one of the latest reinforcement materials used in composites. It's a real hi-tech material, which provides very good structural properties, better than those of any metal, not to mention plastics! Originally, it was developed for use in space technology. Later on carbon fibre was introduced for use in everyday articles and purposes where extraordinary high performance was needed, such as sports equipment, racing cars, boats etc.

Using carbon fibre opens up new possibilities in musical acoustics. The effect of material on the sound of flute has for long been considered controversial. Already in the 19th century Theobalt Boehm experimented with different materials and came to the conclusion that a light and strong body gives the best result. In those days the common view was that the vibrating wall of a wind instrument body creates the sound, like the cover of a violin. Conversely, scientists claim to have proven that the molecules of the flute body can not essentially participate in sound production and the material of the body thus has no effect on the flute sound. This is an ongoing debate, as artistic perception and that of so called hard scientific fact do not find agreement in this case.

Still, the evolutionary process seems persistently to hint at the potency of the material of the body. Historically viewed, the tendency has moved from soft to hard and rigid materials. Boehm's material's studies concluded by favoring the tone producing qualities of the metal flute. Albert Cooper reports that he had hammered a flute body for several weeks to get a sufficient rigidity and a good sound. Soft flute tubes haven't succeeded, and any of us can imagine what kind of an acoustic effect a soft rubber tube would have on a flute.

The idea of using carbon fibre for a flute did not begin from scientific calculations. The starting point for Kahonen was to experiment the effects of sound by the exceptional properties of the body. The focus of the studies was a body construction with a light but very aperiodic wall, where energy losses are minimal. In a body of such a configuration, the wall itself doesn't create the sound, as scientists say. The most essential element is the vibrating column of air inside the flute. The construction of the body along a proper bore dimension, the placement of correctly proportioned tone holes and an optimal headjoint taper, wall height and embouchure hole configuration creates the best acoustical circumstances for the vibrating air column of the flute.

Reportedly, players' intuitions are that the flute with a carbon fibre body produces a responsive, powerful and rich sound with wide dynamic dimensions in volume and tonal colors. Acoustical tests, carried out in the laboratory of acoustics at the Helsinki University of Technology, prove the players' intuitions to be correct. Measured maximum volume level was notably powerful compared to the best conventional flutes made of silver, gold and wood. The measured tonal spectra was notably rich throughout the octave range.

The scale is a combination of modern theory of sound waves and practise about flute playing. The scale meets the standards of professional flute playing on all levels. The scale is based on the superior tonal production of carbon fibre tube and proper designed geometry of the body and the keys.

The tubes of MATIT flutes are made using a special manufacturing method, which guarantees very good acoustical and structural properties as well as the high quality of the inner and outer surfaces.
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Carbon Fibre and Acoustics
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