Index of content:
Volume 126, Issue 1, July 2009
- MUSIC AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS 
126(2009); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3139908View Description Hide Description
A three-dimensional force transducer was installed in the neck of a violin under the A string at the D5 position in order to study the force with which the violinist clamps the string against the fingerboard under normal playing conditions. Violinists performed repetitive sequences of open A- and fingered D-tones using the ring finger at tempi of 1, 2, 4, 8, and 16 notes/s at mezzo-forte. At selected tempi, the effects of dynamic level and the use of different fingers were investigated as well. The force profiles were clearly dependent on tempo and dynamic level. At slow tempi, the force profiles were characterized by an initial pulse followed by a level force to the end of the finger contact period. At tempi higher than 2 Hz, only pulsed profiles were observed. The peak force exceeded 4.5 N at 1 and 2 Hz and decreased to 1.7 N at 16 Hz. All force and impulse values were lower at softer dynamic levels, and when using the ring or little finger compared to the index finger.
Fundamental frequency influences the relationship between sound pressure level and spectral balance in female classically trained singers126(2009); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3132526View Description Hide Description
The influence of fundamental frequency (F0) on the relationship between sound pressure level (SPL) and spectral balance (SB) has been largely unexplored in the female singingvoice. Five classically trained females performed a messa di voce across their musical F0 range. Average maximum SB rose with F0 by 0.27 dB/semitone (ST) to B4 and then decreased, while average minimum SB fell by 0.5 dB/ST to E5 and then generally rose. Of 318 tokens, 208 showed a linear SPL:SB relationship , but F0 affected SPL:SB slope and intercept and their interaction above and below B4. The possibility that this reflects a change from subglottal inertance to compliance is discussed. Consistency of SB behavior change at B4 and E5 contrasted with variability in first-formant frequency. Nonlinear SPL:SB relationships did not arise from SB saturation. The presence of low-SPL “tails” may reflect the challenge in modifying vocal-fold adduction during crescendo and decrescendo. The results show that analysis of the SPL:SB relationship must take F0 into consideration.
126(2009); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3147508View Description Hide Description
Highly and moderately skilled choralsingers listened to a perfect fifth reference, with the instruction to complement the fifth such that a major triad resulted. The fifth was suddenly and unexpectedly shifted in pitch, and the singers’ task was to shift the fundamental frequency of the sung tone accordingly. The F0 curves during the transitions often showed two phases, an initial quick and large change followed by a slower and smaller change, apparently intended to fine-tune voice F0 to complement the fifth. Anesthetizing the vocal folds of moderately skilled singers tended to delay the reaction. The means of the response times varied in the range 197– 259 ms depending on direction and size of the pitch shifts, as well as on skill and anesthetization.
126(2009); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3132504View Description Hide Description
Congenital amusia is a musical disorder characterized by impaired pitch perception. To examine to what extent this perceptual pitch deficit may compromise singing, 11 amusic individuals and 11 matched controls were asked to sing a familiar tune with lyrics and on the syllable /la/. Acoustical analysis of sung renditions yielded measures of pitch accuracy (e.g., number of pitch errors) and time accuracy (e.g., number of time errors). The results revealed that 9 out of 11 amusics were poor singers, mostly on the pitch dimension. Poor singers made an anomalously high number of pitch interval and contour errors, produced pitch intervals largely deviating from the score, and lacked pitch stability; however, more than half of the amusics sang in-time. Amusics’ variability in singing proficiency was related to their residual pitch perceptual ability. Thus, their singing deficiency might be a consequence of their perceptual deficit. Nevertheless, there were notable exceptions. Two amusic individuals, despite their impoverished perception, sang proficiently. The latter findings are consistent with the existence of separate neural pathways for auditory perception and action.