22

I don't have an answer for you with measurements in milliseconds, etc., but as a tuba player I can give you my experiences. I'm not consciously thinking of anticipating anything in order to get my sound out because my instrument is bigger. Instead, the training I've received over time just naturally tells me what I need to do in order for my sound to come ...


17

Humans are pattern-seeking primates. And within Western culture, we have all internalized, consciously or not, the patterns of the major scale and pentatonic scale, because they're commonly used in folk songs and children's tunes. Once Bobby sings that A♯ at 1:06, the audience recognizes the pitches not as the entire major scale, but as the specific ...


14

It's not as much as a "perfectly synchronized start". Low instruments have a slow attack both physically as well as taking longer to register in hearing. At the same time, they are providing the fundamental anchors for the harmony. If they swing into full attack way later than the higher-pitched instruments, the context for the higher-pitched instruments ...


11

is the crest of a sound wave equaled to high amplitude/ high volume and if so, does that mean the trough is low amplitude/ low volume? Not exactly. A sound wave is something that is perceived when sound pressure is changing at a rapid frequency - oscillating up and down at 20 cycles per second or more. If we say that the crests are high pressure and the ...


10

Musical instruments are transducers, which means they change one kind of energy into another. All transducers have an efficiency, which means during the change of energy, some portion of the input energy is lost. So putting 5 watts of mechanical energy into a musical instrument doesn't mean you're getting 5 watts of acoustic energy out. You'll get less than ...


9

Here is a very nice demonstration that shows the relationship between pitch perception and duration. Very short sounds are perceived as clicks, and it takes a minimum number of cycles for a pitch perception to arise. Pitch salience and tone duration How long must a tone be heard in order to have an identifiable pitch? Early experiments by Savart (1830) ...


8

The crowd catch on quickly. But he cues them pretty strongly by singing the notes while setting up the pentatonic scale, and at 1'06" he definitely teaches the crowd what he wants. There's a similar demonstration online where he has to insist strongly that he wants a ♭7 rather than a leading note - the crowd definately prefer the latter :-) He's got ...


7

Slightly off at a tangent, but this still can be thought of even in a rock band scenario. As an occasional drummer & long-time bassist... Have you ever worked with a bassist who thinks his note starts when his pick hits the string rather than leaves it. It's like drumming in molasses. It might only be milliseconds between the two but the difference in ...


7

To test out whether certain musical features are commonly understood across musical cultures that haven't been exposed to each other, you need to take music containing that feature to a group of people who have not been exposed to music with this feature, and yet with whom you can also communicate effectively for the purposes of running an experiment. ...


6

Perhaps the main thing to consider here is expectations. If you lived in a world where all musical lines had note starts (or other 'events') that only fell on the strong beats, then a vocal line that behaved otherwise might - at least on first listening - seem out of time. We (or at least most of us) don't live in that world though - for example, there are ...


6

Why does the muddiness depend on absolute frequencies and not the ratio between them? It does depend on the ratio between them, as Dekkadeci commented. That's the whole reason why different intervals have different lower limits! But it shouldn't really be surprising that absolute frequency also plays a role. That's not only for lower interval limits, even ...


6

As a generalisation, the note heard best is often the highest being played. So, it will depend greatly on which inversion is being listened to. I suspect so far, as intimated from the question, that it's the root version being played. So no great surprise that the 5 is spotted. think about it - if you were harmonising a melody on, say, piano, you'd be ...


5

Phase-locking-driven instruments, including strings and winds (but not percussion or plucked strings) can be described as a primary†, linear oscillator (the string, or air column) which is coupled to a nonlinear “energy pump” (the bow or mouthpiece, respectively). It is the oscillator that defines the frequency, so the coupling must not be too strong (else ...


5

The point of consonant intervals (of which chords are mostly comprised) is that the various frequencies are in a ratio of small numbers. Now if the intervals are perfect intervals, the result is a combined signal that has the frequency of the greatest common divisor of all contained frequencies, reminiscent (after frequency separation in the inner ear) of a ...


5

I play cello in two different ways: either acoustically like everybody else (orchestra etc.), or, with the band on louder stages, through a piëzo pickup and in-ear monitoring. I play a fivestring cello with low F, and in the band I fulfill more of a bass role. I was never really aware of playing before/after the beat, until we recorded a song that I ...


5

There's a video online by Sideways ( ) in which he breaks down what makes Miyazaki films sound pretty. At one point in the video, he starts to break down why the composer (Joe Hisaishi?) uses strange scales that don't really fit western harmony ideas. He tells you that even though some of them can sound unresolved to you, they ...


5

If we look at a dissonance curve like this one, from William Sethares' site: We can see that the statement an interval's acoustic consonance is a function of how "simple" it is as a ratio only holds at all when are already looking at particular ratios that are already themselves reasonably far apart. For example, it's fair to say that the fifth (3:2) ...


5

Neither are particularly precise terms. 'Tone deaf' describes people who have trouble with recognising pitch. 'Amusia' would also include problems with other elements of music like rhythm or timbre. Or that's what musicians would say 'tone deaf' means. The wider community might apply it to someone who just doesn't 'get' music in any way - appreciation or ...


4

Is it just a matter of chance that we note music as we do? One of the ideas put forward by A generative theory of tonal music is that "the events of a piece are related to a regular alternation of strong and weak beats at a number of hierarchical levels" - I believe the suggestion is that this is something fundamental to the human experience of music, ...


4

It takes more energy to get a large instrument resonating than a small one. I'm dubious about the strings example - we hear the 'bite' of the bow on the string as an immediate transient, even if it does take a little time for the body to fully resonate. I'm sure there's some truth in what the viola player has been told though, maybe more applicable to ...


4

The speed of sound is approximately 1100 feet/second at room temperature and at sea level. So, one just calculates time=distance/1100 where the distance is in feet. The pianist is about 3 feet from the striking point (more or less) so the time is 3/1100 seconds or 2.7ms. For the audience about 30 feet away, 30/100 gives about 27ms.


4

A crest and a trough both cause the eardrum to move away from its normal, undisturbed, resting position. Hence, the crest and the trough both embody a loud sound. When there is no sound, the ear drum is still; it is resting in a central position. When sound waves strike the eardrum, it moves the eardrum inward (crest) and outward (trough). The ear converts ...


3

I found an excerpt from a chapter written by Johan Sundberg in The Psychology of Music, a compilation of articles, presumably all related to psychoacoustics. Here are some quotes and explanations: Although F0 [the fundamental frequency of the note] varies regularly in such tones, the pitch we perceive is perfectly constant as long as the rate and extent ...


3

This might explain your confusion, copied from the Wikipedia page quoting Zwicker: It must be pointed out that the measurements taken so far indicate that the critical bands have a certain width, but that their position on the frequency scale is not fixed; rather, the position can be changed continuously, perhaps by the ear itself. It seems, based on ...


3

A 10Hz beat is not heard as a pitch, rather as a fluctuation of volume, but it is certainly detectable. As a seperate topic, a low tone from, say, an organ pipe may not be directly 'heard', but our brains deduce its pitch from its harmonics, which ARE audible. We deduce 'A low-low C will have harmonics including the C above then G, then the next C, E...etc. ...


3

In fact, if you give someone who's listened to plenty of Western music a piece with a deceptive cadence in it, that person may still feel a sense of resolution when the deceptive cadence comes! The I-V-vi-IV chord progression is commonly found in pop music and more. A common variant of it is the vi-IV-I-V chord progression. Rewrite everything as if the vi ...


2

"[...] why does our brain allow some patterns that are "off" to sound right even when things don't line up [...]" Probably what you are talking about is tied with what is called the Precedence Effect. It is, very basically, where two identical sounds that arrive with a small delay are perceived as a single sound, and beyond a certain breakpoint they are ...


2

One way the underlying pulse remains constant, the other way it is broken. It's the difference between singing 'around the beat' and there not being a steady beat at all - or the vocal becoming disconnected from it. But there's no clear cut-off point. We can easily define being completely on the beat and being completely oblivious to it. But between ...


2

They can be, but that is not the point of having them. Musically, the point of having a larger soundboard, easier key action, etc. is not to be able to play louder. Any competent pianist can already play as loudly as appropriate for most compositions on any grand piano. Rather, the point is achieving the same volume with less effort. The more effort you ...


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