Volume 128, Issue 4, October 2010
Index of content:
- MUSIC AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS 
128(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3478783View Description Hide Description
An experimental study of variations in the sound of clavichord notes at different dynamic levels is described. Radiated acoustic signal, tangent velocity and two tangent-string contact signals are synchronously measured for all 51 notes of an unfretted instrument. More than ten repeated measures are recorded in order to obtain as much variation in dynamic level as possible. The tangent motion, expressed in terms of velocity, is studied in the time and frequency domains. A model of the tangent-string contact point velocity is proposed. Then, three aspects of the sounded tones are analyzed: SPL and its relationship to tangent velocity, spectral slope, and pitch variations. These results indicate a linear relationship between sound pressure level and tangent peak log velocity. Spectral slope seems almost constant independent of tangent velocity and dynamic level. Both tangent velocity and finger pressure are shown to influence the fundamental frequency. In conclusion, controlling both finger velocity and finger pressure may prove challenging for the player, and this may explain why the sound quality of the clavichord depends so much on the players ability.
128(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3478782View Description Hide Description
There has been a recent surge of research on the topic of poor-pitch singing. However, this research has not addressed an important distinction in measurement: that between accuracy and precision. With respect to singing, accuracy refers to the average difference between sung and target pitches. Precision, by contrast, refers to the consistency of repeated attempts to produce a pitch. A group of 45 non-musician participants was asked to vocally imitate unfamiliar 5-note melodies, as well as to sing a series of familiar melodies from memory (e.g., Happy Birthday). The results showed that singers were more accurate than they were precise, and that a majority of participants could justifiably be categorized as imprecise singers. Accuracy and precision measures were correlated with one another, and conditional-probability analyses suggested that accuracy predicted precision more so than the converse. Finally, performance differences across groups of singers were greater for the imitation of unfamiliar tone sequences than for the recall of familiar melodies.