The physics of the plucked string has been treated in many articles and books.1–4 For our 12th-grade high school physics laboratory, we have built a cheap, simple sonometer apparatus for each pair of students on which they may investigate some interesting phenomena that arise when a string is plucked. Among these are the generation of harmonics (overtones) and the way their number depends on the length of a string and on where one plucks, the relation between the frequencies of the fundamental and those of the harmonics, and the way these are affected by changes in the length and the tension in the string. Such an experiment will help students appreciate the working of stringed musical instruments and, in particular, the contribution of overtones to the richness of sound produced.

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