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Jonathan Kemp

St Andrews / Staff (Physics / Music)

Jonathan Kemp pursued a BSc in Physics with Music and a PhD “Theoretical and experimental study of wave propagation in brass musical instruments” at the University of Edinburgh. He has teaching experience at the University of Edinburgh, the Open University and the University of Abertay, Dundee and now teaches at the University of St Andrews where he is head of music technology in the Music Centre. Jonathan is interested in the physics of self-sustained oscillating systems (from musical instruments to animal sounds), acoustic measurement techniques, the characterisation of non-linear systems, sensory dissonance in scales and the physics of the guitar. Initial research involved studying linear wave propagation in tubular objects including transverse modes of vibration and in acoustic pulse reflectometry (echo-based measurement of the resonances and internal profile of tubular objects) with application to brass musical instruments. He has also researched the effect of non-linearities on impulse response measurement techniques and wave separation in pipes using multiple microphones with application to physical modelling synthesis. Recent work has included using sensory dissonance to investigate the intonation of the great highland bagpipe while his latest research has been conducted on the physics of guitar strings. Jonathan plays guitar and bass guitar, including as bassist for Teannaich Ceilidh Band and sells guitar strings based on his research under the Kemp Strings trademark.

Jonathan is currently looking for collaborations on sound generation mechanisms in animals in addition to musical acoustics.