Adriaan Daniël Fokker was a prominent Dutch theoretical physicist. He is known in theoretical physics for the Fokker-Planck equation and his work on the theory of relativity. In the years around 1930, however, Fokker also became interested in room acoustics and the tuning of musical instruments. He designed several sound reflectors, which amplify the sound reaching the audience, especially in churches, but his work on musical instrument tuning is what made him more widely known.
Alexander John Ellis was born Alexander John Sharpe on June 14, 1814, in Hoxton, Middlesex, and died in London on October 28, 1890. He studied mathematics and philology at Trinity College Cambridge, earning his bachelor’s degree in 1837. Ellis later became a phonetician, whose work in vocal and musical pitch, speech, and song also influenced the field of musicology. Among his most important contributions were the annotated translation of Hermann von Helmholtz’s On the Sensations of Tone and his development of the notion of cent for musical intervals.
Stumpf studied at the University of Würzburg—first aesthetics and law, and later philosophy with Franz Brentano. Because Brentano had not completed the qualifications allowing him to supervise dissertations, Stumpf wrote his doctoral thesis on Plato (1868) and his habilitation thesis on mathematical axioms (1870) at the University of Göttingen, supervised by Hermann Lotze. Both philosophers had a strong influence on Stumpf’s thinking and further writings.
Cornelis Zwikker was a Dutch physicist and one of the initiators of the Dutch Sound Foundation. After studying chemistry, mathematics, and physics in Amsterdam, he worked with Philips in Eindhoven until 1929, when he was appointed professor of theoretical and applied physics at the Delft University of Technology. Zwikker was responsible for the acoustic design of many buildings, among them the studios of the Dutch broadcasting organization AVRO.
Eduard Sievers was a linguist with a focus on Germanic languages, and was one of the Leipzig “neogrammarians.” Using statistical methods and experimentation, he aimed to formulate laws for the melodic and rhythmic elements of language. He also became well known for “Sievers’ Law,” a phonetic law for Indo-European languages.
Browse the currently 2009 items in this database here