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Joseph Sauveur

Joseph Sauveur was born on March 24, 1653 in La Fleche, France.  He was born deaf.  He did not talk until he was seven years old.  It was still hard for him to talk after that. He went to school at the Jesuit school of La Fleche.  His favorite subject was math.

Jesuit School of La Fleche

Picture Courtesy of the East Asian Pastoral Institute

Hydraulic Energy

Photo Courtesy of Center for Mechanical Design Technology

After finishing school Sauveur became a math teacher.  He was interested in hydraulics.  Hydraulics is using water to create energy.  Military fortifications are buildings that protect soldiers during war.  Later he got a job working for the Engineering Corps. 

He was also interested in military fortifications.  Military fortifications are buildings that protect soldiers during war.  Later he got a job working for the Engineering Corps. 

Military Fortification - Fort Sumter

Photo Courtesy of the National Park Service

Vibrating Strings at different frequencies
 

After this Sauveur changed jobs.  He became a teacher at the College Royal in Paris.  Sauveur was interested in acoustics.  He had an assistant who listened to the sounds for him since he could not hear the sounds.  He studied how sound vibrates.  He discovered that the mass of vibrating strings determined its frequency.

This is very important in music history because they could make many strings with the same sound.  For example, inside a piano there are many strings.  The strings on every piano make the same sound. He invented words such as harmonic, fundamental, and node.  He is the founder of the study of acoustics. 

Strings inside a piano

 

 

Sauveur died on July 9, 1716 in Paris.

Web Links

http://deafscientistcorner.pbworks.com/Joseph+Sauveur

References

Lang, H. G., & Meath-Lang, B. (1995). Joseph Sauveur.  In A Biographical Dictionary: Deaf Persons in the Arts and Sciences
    
(pp.309-311). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.