Numerical and experimental modal analysis of the setar


  • Hossein Mansour Computational Acoustic Modeling Laboratory, Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology, Schulich School of Music of McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 1E3, Canada


Excitation points, Experimental modal analysis, Finite element models, Fixed points, Fluid-structure coupling, Minor components, MSC/NASTRAN, Orthotropic properties, Persians, Pre loads, Radiated sound, Structural details, Vibrating systems, Working conditions


Stringed musical instruments are complex vibrating systems from both the structural and the fluid-structure coupling perspective. The direct sound of the strings is a minor component of the sound output, with most of the radiated sound generated by the body and cavity of the instrument. The setar is used mainly to play Persian classical music, called Dastgah. This instrument is played with the tip of the index fingernail, by strumming up and down. The excitation is imposed on a fixed point on the apex of the bridge, beside the notch where the first C4 string is passing, and the response is measured at 60 points all over the soundboard. The choice of the excitation point ensured that all prominent modes in the working condition of setar are properly excited. A finite element model of a setar was developed in MSC/NASTRAN taking into account structural details such as orthotropic properties, direction of the grains, non-ideal joints, and the effect of strings preload.



How to Cite

Mansour H. Numerical and experimental modal analysis of the setar. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 2011Sep.1 [cited 2021Apr.17];39(3):136-7. Available from:



Proceedings of the Acoustics Week in Canada