Index of content:
Volume 119, Issue 2, February 2006
- MUSIC AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS 
119(2006); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2146084View Description Hide Description
The performance of autocorrelation-based meter induction was tested with two large collections of folk melodies, consisting of approximately 13 000 melodies for which the correct meters were available. The performance was measured by the proportion of melodies whose meter was correctly classified by a discriminant function. Furthermore, it was examined whether including different melodic accent types would improve the classification performance. By determining the components of the autocorrelation functions that were significant in the classification it was found that periodicity in note onset locations was the most important cue for the determination of meter. Of the melodic accents included, Thomassen's melodic accent was found to provide the most reliable cues for the determination of meter. The discriminant function analyses suggested that periodicities longer than one measure may provide cues for meter determination that are more reliable than shorter periodicities. Overall, the method predicted notated meter with an accuracy reaching 96% for binary classification and 75% for classification into nine categories of meter.
Material identification of real impact sounds: Effects of size variation in steel, glass, wood, and plexiglass plates119(2006); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2149839View Description Hide Description
Identification of the material of struck objects of variable size was investigated. Previous studies on this issue assumed recognition to be based on acoustical measures of damping. This assumption was tested, comparing the power of a damping measure in explaining identification data with that of several other acoustical descriptors. Listeners’ performance was perfect with respect to gross material categories (steel-glass and wood-plexiglass) comprising materials of vastly different mechanical properties. Impaired performance was observed for materials within the same gross category, identification being based on the size of the objects alone. The damping descriptor accounted for the identification of the gross categories. However other descriptors such as signal duration explained the results equally well. Materials within the same gross category were identified mainly on the basis of signal frequency. Overall poor support for the relevance of damping to material perception was found. An analysis of the acoustical support for perfect material identification was carried out. Sufficient acoustical information for perfect performance was found. Thus, procedural biases for the origin of the effects of size could be discarded, pointing toward their cognitive, rather than methodological nature. Identification performance was explained in terms of the regularities of the everyday acoustical environment.
119(2006); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2146091View Description Hide Description
A method for separating, profiling, and quantifying the contributions of different structural components to expressive musical performance is described. The method is demonstrated through its application to a set of expert piano performances of a short piece from the classical period. The results show that the output of the method aids in the understanding of how the different structural components in a piece of music combine in the generation of an expressive performance. A second demonstration applies the method to performances at different tempi to illustrate its effectiveness in pinpointing the structural features responsible for small but statistically significant differences between performances. The method is compared with other approaches to the analysis and modeling of musical performance, and a number of potential applications are identified.
119(2006); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2146089View Description Hide Description
The didjeridu, or yidaki, is a simple tube about long, played with the lips, as in a tuba, but mostly producing just a tonal, rhythmic drone sound. The acoustic impedance spectra of performers’ vocal tracts were measured while they played and compared with the radiated sound spectra. When the tongue is close to the hard palate, the vocal tract impedance has several maxima in the range . These maxima, if sufficiently large, produce minima in the spectral envelope of the sound because the corresponding frequency components of acoustic current in the flow entering the instrument are small. In the ranges between the impedance maxima, the lower impedance of the tract allows relatively large acoustic current components that correspond to strong formants in the radiated sound. Broad, weak formants can also be observed when groups of even or odd harmonics coincide with bore resonances. Schlieren photographs of the jet entering the instrument and high speed video images of the player’s lips show that the lips are closed for about half of each cycle, thus generating high levels of upper harmonics of the lip frequency. Examples of the spectra of “circular breathing” and combined playing and vocalization are shown.
119(2006); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2146090View Description Hide Description
The didjeridu(didgeridoo) or yidaki of the Australian Aboriginal people consists of the narrow trunk of a small Eucalypt tree that has been hollowed out by the action of termites, cut to a length of about , smoothed, and decorated. It is lip-blown like a trumpet and produces a simple drone in the frequency range . Interest arises from the fact that a skilled player can make a very wide variety of sounds with formants rather like those of human vowels, and can also produce additional complex sounds by adding vocalization. An outline is given of the way in which the whole system can be analyzed using the harmonic-balance technique, but a simpler approach with lip motion assumed shows easily that upper harmonics of the drone with frequencies lying close to impedance maxima of the vocal tract are suppressed, so that formant bands appear near impedance minima of the vocal tract. This agrees with experimental findings. Simultaneous vibration of the player’s lips and vocal folds is shown to generate multiple sum and difference tones, and can be used to produce subharmonics of the drone. A brief discussion is given of player preference of particular bore profiles.