Equivalent circuit modeling and vibrometry measurements of the Nigerian-origin Udu Utar drum

J Acoust Soc Am. 2013 Mar;133(3):1718-26. doi: 10.1121/1.4789892.


The Udu drum, sometimes called the water pot drum, is a traditional Nigerian instrument. Musicians who play the Udu exploit its aerophone and idiophone resonances. This paper will discuss an electrical equivalent circuit model for the Udu Utar, a modern innovation of the traditional Udu, to predict the low frequency aerophone resonances and will also present scanning laser vibrometer measurements to determine the mode shapes of the dominant idiophone resonances. These analyses not only provide an understanding of the unique sound of the Udu instrument but may also be used by instrument designers to create instruments with resonance frequencies at traditional musical intervals for the various tones produced and to create musical harmonic ratios. The information, specifically the laser vibrometry measurements, may also be useful to musicians in knowing the best places to strike the Udu to excite musical tones.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustics* / instrumentation
  • Doppler Effect
  • Equipment Design
  • Lasers
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Motion
  • Music*
  • Nigeria
  • Sound Spectrography
  • Sound*
  • Time Factors
  • Vibration