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Questions tagged [psychoacoustics]

the scientific study of sound perception.

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3
votes
1answer
298 views

What is the difference between tone deafness and amusia?

Trying to explain that the multiple reasons of the inability to sing the right tone (to match pitch) I encountered two other terms: amusia and ton defness. I wonder how far these two terms are ...
4
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3answers
149 views

Why aren't slight imperfections in consonant intervals extremely dissonant?

In theory classes, we're taught that an interval's acoustic consonance is a function of how "simple" it is as a ratio, where "simple" means being a ratio of small integers. So a perfect fifth (3:2) is ...
3
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3answers
311 views

Amplitude of a crest and trough in a sound wave?

Lets say we have a sound wave, it has a frequency, wavelength, crest, trough, etc. My question is, is the crest of a sound wave equaled to high amplitude/ high volume and if so, does that mean the ...
1
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3answers
103 views

A truly perfect unison

Two notes are two notes. At least, it seems that way. When people play two notes at two frequencies, they sound like two notes, even when they're playing in unison. There are a variety of factors ...
18
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2answers
1k views

How did the audience guess the pentatonic scale in Bobby McFerrin's presentation?

The video below is entitled "The Power of the Pentatonic Scale". And from the video you'd think that people are inherently tuned to the pentatonic scale. But I was wondering if they're really ...
1
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4answers
120 views

The effects of memory on the perception of harmonic function

The opening four bars of Beethoven's fifth symphony are performed in pure octaves, with no other notes to color our perception of what we hear: The notes are G G G E♭, F F F D Taken alone ...
3
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0answers
54 views

Reference request: recent books on music synthesis [closed]

My knowledge of music synthesis comes mostly from these two books: Deutsch., ed., The psychology of music, 1982. Chamberlin, Musical applications of microprocessors, 1980. The Deutsch book has gone ...
0
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1answer
102 views

Psychology Of Key Preferences

I'm a layperson with regards to all things music. I have some experience with the guitar and took a semester long music theory class in high school, but aside from that and some stuff I've heard from ...
5
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3answers
361 views

What is the main note you hear when hearing a chord?

I've done experiments on my friends and myself, and when listening to chords, the note we end up hearing at the forefront (in other words the note we hum when reproducing the song) is actually the ...
4
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1answer
351 views

Lower interval limits

I've heard about this concept of lower interval limits: An arbitrary limit to how low any given pattern of harmonic intervals can be played before it starts to sound muddy. It generally predicts that ...
14
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4answers
257 views

Is the sense of resolution of a harmonic cadence psychologically “intrinsic”, or is it created through conditioning?

If we took someone who had never heard western music before and played a piece of music with, say, a deceptive cadence and a perfect cadence in it, would they understand it? I.e., would they feel that ...
3
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2answers
87 views

What is the smallest difference in note lengths that an average listener can still perceive?

Approximately speaking, what is the smallest temporal difference, expressed in milliseconds, in note lengths (for consecutively sounded notes) that an average, untrained listener can still (semi)...
2
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2answers
72 views

Can a pitch be perceived outside the range where it can be heard?

In an example on the wikipedia section on Binaural Beats it says that two sine waves heard as separate signals, one in each ear, which differ by 10 Hz will produce the perception of a 10 Hz difference ...
5
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4answers
198 views

Subconscious Plagiarization in Music Production

I have effectively no training in music theory, and have only ever produced a handful of "songs" (unpublished files on my hard drive, resulting from aimless experimentation with production software). ...
2
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1answer
104 views

Does the THX Deep Note Actually Increase in SPL/IL?

This may be more of a question for the Physics StackExchange, but I thought I'd post it here since it is in some sense a musical question. The Wikipedia article on the Deep Note includes the ...
2
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2answers
200 views

How does the ear pick which note to hear when hearing guitar vibrato

When adding vibrato to a fretted note on an electric guitar, if I do so by bending the note up a semitone, I perceive as the pitch of the original note being modulated. When applying vibrato to a bend ...
0
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1answer
73 views

Time the sound of a pressed piano key take to reach the human ear

I'm working on a DPS software and I was looking at the entire time that my sound sample take from the moment it begin the processing until it reach the ear. I'm reaching something like 71ms, but I've ...
7
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2answers
738 views

What makes some instruments louder than others?

Main question: are longer pianos actually louder? Context: When a musician plays on an acoustic instrument, I expect that the loudness produced corresponds to raw energy (as measured in Joules or ...
0
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0answers
45 views

Number of notes in a tune such that it is metrically sensible

I am computationally generating short tunes (aiming for around 10-15 notes, 0.5 seconds per note) for a psychology experiment. I am wondering exactly how many notes I should have per tune, so that the ...
1
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3answers
256 views

Why do lower instruments speak “slower”?

Why do lower instruments, such as double bass and cello in an orchestra or chamber setting, are discerned by the ear slower than higher instruments (violin, flute, etc)? Does it have to do with the ...
4
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1answer
82 views

Identifying a contrasting pair of musical memory trait

Trait-1: My mother, a non-professional music teacher of Indian-classic (North indian) Vocal-music and Nazrul's songs. She is good in her stream (in my opinion), she had a strong interest for indian ...
24
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6answers
4k views

Should low frequency players anticipate in orchestra?

"The bigger the instrument, the heavier the strings, the bigger the bow, the bigger the mouthpiece, the more you should anticipate." This concept is expressed occasionally by double bass players, ...
0
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1answer
185 views

Why (Occidental) conventional rhythm notation became conventional? [closed]

Human languages evolve and adapt themselves to the needs (phonetics, auditory, contextual) of the users. To what extent has been showed that Occidental music notation followed that path? Is it just ...
1
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5answers
344 views

A seriously difficult question about mistakes and intepretation of music

I just came up with a question that I've never seen asked or talked about. It maybe obvious to everyone else in the world but I realized I simply can't answer it except with the non-answer. This is ...
3
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2answers
107 views

Question on critical-band and critical-band rate usage

If I take a note with frequency 101 Hz (roughly G2), then the critical bandwidth (CB) will be made up of 51 Hz on the low end and 151 Hz on the high end. This means that if I play a D3 with frequency ...
4
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2answers
2k views

Why do low chords sound muddier than high chords?

In most styles of music low notes seemed to be spaced more sparsely in pitch than high ones ie. a piano piece might have octaves in the left hand and dense melody in the right hand. This spacing is ...
2
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2answers
376 views

What contributes to the roughness of a sound?

I know this is a little subjective in regards to what roughness is. So, imagine the sound of a sine wave, you could say this is the purest, or cleanest sound there is. Now contrast that to a ...
14
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3answers
1k views

What's the shortest that a note can be and still have a recognisable pitch?

While talking about this question: What does it mean to play a note for half a second? I got to thinking - how short can a note actually be for us to perceive its fundamental pitch? Obviously real ...
6
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2answers
384 views

Is it learned or innate our reaction of happiness or sadness in music? [duplicate]

Are we born with the response telling us that the chord tones or melody has a sad or happy quality? Or is it learned by our culture? The minor scale and chords have a serious or sadness to them ...
2
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3answers
871 views

Does good intonation alone really make you “louder”? If yes, why?

I have multiple times heard this claim, from very different sources. There certainly seems to be some correlation between intonation and "loudness", in the sense that ensembles with great harmony ...
17
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8answers
2k views

What gives a piece of music its personality and feeling? [closed]

What makes a piece of music sound angry, dark, sad, happy, or otherwise? "La Chute" by Yann Tiersen sounds so angry to me and "A Dark Knight" from "The Dark Knight" movie sounds so dark and ...