1) On instruments played by plucking the strings, as the harp, guitar, etc., to check the vibrations by placing the hand lightly on the strings. 2) To apply mechanical dampers. (Stainer, John; Barrett, W.A.; A Dictionary of Musical Terms; Novello, Ewer and Co., London, pre-1900)

Loss of energy of a vibrator?, usually through friction. Loss can also be caused by adding weight or mass to the vibrator. (Rossing, Thomas D.; The Science of Sound; Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1982.)

Damping Factor
As applied to a loudspeaker, describes its ability to come to a complete stop the instant the electrical signal that is being fed into it ceases. In a system with poor damping, the speaker cone? will continue to vibrate for a moment after the input signal has ended. This "hangover" blurs musical details. Amplifiers also have a "damping factor," which helps control the speaker. A high amplifier damping factor, usually above 10, is satisfactory for most speaker? systems, although some speakers operate best with amplifiers that have lower or higher damping factors. Clarity in the reproduction of complex orchestral passages - particularly those involving heavy percussion - is an indication of good damping characteristics, since good damping contributes to a speaker's transient response. (Fantel, Hans; The True Sound of Music - A Practical Guide to Sound Equipment for the Home; 1973, E. P. Dutton & Company, Inc., New York)

See Also


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