An experimental study is described to characterize the oscillation of a guitar string around resonance. A periodic force was applied to the string, generated by the electromagnetic interaction between an alternating current flowing in the string and a magnetic field. The oscillation was studied by measuring the voltage induced in the string itself, which is proportional to the velocity. Accurate quantitative data were obtained for the velocity, both modulus and phase, with a time resolution of 3 ms, corresponding to the oscillation period. The measuring instrument was a personal computer with its sound card and an electronic amplifier, both used to generate the excitation current and record the velocity signal, while performing the required frequency sweep. The study covered an excitation force range more than two and half decades wide (51 dB). The experimental results showed very good agreement with the theoretical behavior of a Duffing oscillator with nonlinear damping over about two decades.

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