Volume 130, Issue 6, December 2011
Index of content:
- MUSIC AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS 
130(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3658447View Description Hide Description
Congenital amusia is a lifelong disorder of music processing that has been ascribed to impaired pitch perception and memory. The present study tested a large group of amusics (n = 17) and provided evidence that their pitch deficit affects pitch processing in speech to a lesser extent: Fine-grained pitchdiscrimination was better in spoken syllables than in acoustically matched tones. Unlike amusics, control participants performed fine-grained pitchdiscrimination better for musical material than for verbal material. These findings suggest that pitch extraction can be influenced by the nature of the material(music vs speech), and that amusics’ pitch deficit is not restricted to musical material, but extends to segmented speech events.
130(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3652861View Description Hide Description
Absolute pitch, the rare ability to identify or produce a musical tone without a reference tone, has been shown to be advantageous in some musical tasks; however, its relevance in musical contexts primarily involving relative pitch has been questioned. To explore this issue, 36 trained musicians—18 absolute pitch possessors and 18 non-possessors with equivalent age of onset and duration of musical training—were tested on interval naming tasks requiring only relative pitch. The intervals to be named were either ascending or descending with separation ranging from 1 to 12 semitones and equally involved all 12 pitch classes. Three different conditions were employed; these used brief sine waves, pianotones, and pianotones preceded by a V7-I chord cadence so as to establish a tonal context. The possession of absolute pitch was strongly correlated with enhanced performance on all these tests of relative pitch. Furthermore, no evidence was found that this absolute pitch avantage depended on key, interval size, or musical context.
130(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3652862View Description Hide Description
An analytic, small-deflection, simplified model of the modern violinbow is introduced to describe the bending profiles and related strengths of an initially straight, uniform cross-section, stick as a function of bow hair tension. A number of illustrative bending profiles (cambers) of the bow are considered, which demonstrate the strong dependence of the flexibility of the bow on longitudinal forces across the ends of the bent stick. Such forces are shown to be comparable in strength to critical buckling loads causing excessive sideways buckling unless the stick is very straight. Non-linear, large deformation, finite element computations extend the analysis to bow hair tensions comparable with and above the critical buckling strength of the straight stick. The geometric model assumes an expression for the taper of Tourte bows introduced by Vuillaume, which is re-examined and generalized to describe violin,viola and cellobows. A comparison is made with recently published measurements of the taper and bending profiles of a particularly fine bow by Kittel.