New CPS venture to support an innovative form of scientific publication.


In its early years, the CPS pioneered scientific publication in Cambridge, and also provided the first public forum for research results to be presented and discussed. In the age of the internet there are new possibilities for doing those things, which the conventional publishing world has not entirely caught up with. By hosting this e-book, the CPS is providing it with a long-term home —  otherwise, online resources like this are vulnerable to vanishing without trace if there were to be any hitch with the private hosting subscription. is a website written by former CPS President Jim Woodhouse, emeritus professor in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. It presents a wide range of material on the science behind musical instruments, and is organised in such a way that a general reader can follow an “outreach-style” account, while the more technically-minded reader can dig deeper through many side links which provide detailed material, mathematical and otherwise, at a level aimed at scientists (of any age: sixth-formers, undergraduates or professional scientists). has received many glowing endorsements:

Jim Woodhouse has combined the best elements of a book and a website to create Euphonics, a dazzling resource for researchers, instrument makers, players, technicians, and music lovers. While the main text is accessible to those with no mathematical background, the work as a whole speaks to scientists at any level seeking an introduction to musical acoustics. I am a violinmaker and researcher and have benefitted enormously from Woodhouse’s deep understanding of violin acoustics, his sparkling prose, and his clear visualizations. Euphonics is a generous and timeless contribution to the field.

Joseph Curtin
Violin maker, and 2005 MacArthur Fellow.

Woodhouse does an outstanding job addressing both the basics and many really interesting details. The presentation makes it easy for readers with minimal technical background to get the gist, while there is sufficient detail to be useful to researchers in the field of acoustics of musical instruments. In my undergraduate course on what science has to say about music, I recommend to students as a resource for how instruments work.

David Politzer
Richard Chase Tolman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Caltech; Nobel prize for physics, 2004; and banjo nut. is a great open resource to understand the physics and acoustics of musical instruments. I recommend it to everyone who wants an introduction to musical acoustics. Professor Woodhouse has a gift for explaining complex subjects in an easy to understand yet scientifically rigorous manner. The e-book format allows it to be read by readers with very different backgrounds. The main sections explain the basic concepts with a minimum of math while those who wish to explore the mathematical physics and equations in depth can do so. Highly recommended!

Fan Tao
Director of R&D, D’Addario & Company; co-director, VSA-Oberlin Acoustics Workshop; and violinist.

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