Volume 126, Issue 3, September 2009
Index of content:
- MUSIC AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS 
126(2009); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3177269View Description Hide Description
Clarinettists combine non-standard fingerings with particular vocal tract configurations to achieve pitch bending, i.e., sounding pitches that can deviate substantially from those of standard fingerings. Impedance spectra were measured in the mouth of expert clarinettists while they played normally and during pitch bending, using a measurement head incorporated within a functioning clarinet mouthpiece. These were compared with the input impedance spectra of the clarinet for the fingerings used. Partially uncovering a tone hole by sliding a finger raises the frequency of clarinet impedance peaks, thereby allowing smooth increases in sounding pitch over some of the range. To bend notes in the second register and higher, however, clarinettists produce vocal tractresonances whose impedance maxima have magnitudes comparable with those of the bore resonance, which then may influence or determine the sounding frequency. It is much easier to bend notes down than up because of the phase relations of the bore and tract resonances, and the compliance of the reed. Expert clarinettists performed the glissando opening of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Here, players coordinate the two effects: They slide their fingers gradually over open tone holes, while simultaneously adjusting a strong vocal tractresonance to the desired pitch.
126(2009); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3179674View Description Hide Description
Motion of the keys was measured in a transverse flute while beginner, amateur, and professional flutists played a range of exercises. The time taken for a key to open or close was typically 10 ms when pushed by a finger or 16 ms when moved by a spring. Because the opening and closing of keys will never be exactly simultaneous, transitions between notes that involve the movement of multiple fingers can occur via several possible pathways with different intermediate fingerings. A transition is classified as “safe” if it is possible to be slurred from the initial to final note with little perceptible change in pitch or volume. Some transitions are “unsafe” and possibly involve a transient change in pitch or a decrease in volume. Players, on average, used safe transitions more frequently than unsafe transitions. Delays between the motion of the fingers were typically tens of milliseconds, with longer delays as more fingers become involved. Professionals exhibited smaller average delays between the motion of their fingers than did amateurs.
126(2009); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3160296View Description Hide Description
Nonlinear source-filter theory is applied to explain some acoustic differences between two contrasting male singing productions at high pitches: operatic style versus jazz belt or theater belt. Several stylized vocal tract shapes (caricatures) are discussed that form the bases of these styles. It is hypothesized that operatic singing uses vowels that are modified toward an inverted megaphone mouth shape for transitioning into the high-pitch range. This allows all the harmonics except the fundamental to be “lifted” over the first formant. Belting, on the other hand, uses vowels that are consistently modified toward the megaphone (trumpet-like) mouth shape. Both the fundamental and the second harmonic are then kept below the first formant. The vocal tract shapes provide collective reinforcement to multiple harmonics in the form of inertive supraglottal reactance and compliant subglottal reactance. Examples of lip openings from four well-known artists are used to infer vocal tract area functions and the corresponding reactances.