Physics of Sound: Demonstrations

Tremolo and Vibrato

To make music performances more lively, singers use tremolo and string players use vibrato. Both tremolo and vibrato are modulations of the main tone with a much smaller frequency.

Tremolo is an amplitude modulation and it is achieved by periodic varying (modulating) the air throughput through voice bands. The player below illustrates tremolo of different modulation amplitudes A and frequencies f. The frequency of the main tone is 500 Hz.


Tremolo

Note that setting A=1 (the maximal value here) and low f results in beats.

Vibrato is a frequency modulation that is achieved by changing the string tension by pressing the fingers in this or that direction along the string. The player below illustrates vibrato of different modulation amplitudes A and frequencies f. The frequency of the main tone is again 500 Hz.


Vibrato


Dmitry Garanin, 2012, powered by Wolfram Research