It's commonly held that humans can hear sounds in the range 20 Hz - 20 KHz.
But most acoustic instruments will emit sounds outside that range, for instance breath sounds from flutes and recorders, bow noise on bowed string instruments, plucking noise on plucked string instruments, and so on.
One strand of reasoning says that if an instrument produces sounds with components above 20 KHz then they're inaudible and so don't really matter.
But is that true? Does the ultrasonic part of an acoustic instrument's spectrum affect its perceived sound?
I'm specifically asking about acoustic instruments and what it's like to be in the same room as that instrument as it's performed. I'm specifically not asking about audio recording/storage/replay, as that's a whole subject on its own.
This question was prompted after hearing a program Costing the Earth on BBC Radio 4 last night which reported that in the rainforest there's significant ultrasonic sound and that's why we feel better there than in the urban environment.
Subsidiary Question Seems no-one has the answer at their fingertips. I've been wondering what experiment would answer this question?