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Vibrational Modes of the (0,1) Mode

The first or the fundamental mode of vibration of a circular membrane is the (0,1) mode. This is the mode that is excited when the drum is struck in the center of the membrane. It sounds like a deep "thump." The vibrations occur at the lowest frequency of all of the drum vibrational modes.

When vibrating in the (0,1) mode, the drumhead is acting as a monopole vibrational sound source and is efficient at transferring its vibrational energy to the surrounding air. In fact, it is so efficient that the sound of this mode normally disappears within a fraction of a second as the energy is radiated away. Therefore, this short duration of sound, which has no easily discernable pitch, does not allow this vibrational mode to contribute much of the musical quality of the drum.

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Understanding the Physics of Sound
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