Volume 134, Issue 3, September 2013
Index of content:
- MUSIC AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS 
The clarinet: How blowing pressure, lip force, lip position and reed “hardness” affect pitch, sound level, and spectrum134(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4816538View Description Hide Description
Using an automated clarinet playing system, the frequency f, sound level L, and spectral characteristics are measured as functions of blowing pressure P and the force F applied by the mechanical lip at different places on the reed. The playing regime on the (P,F) plane lies below an extinction line F(P) with a negative slope of a few square centimeters and above a pressure threshold with a more negative slope. Lower values of F and P can produce squeaks. Over much of the playing regime, lines of equal frequency have negative slope. This is qualitatively consistent with passive reed behavior: Increasing F or P gradually closes the reed, reducing its equivalent acoustic compliance, which increases the frequency of the peaks of the parallel impedance of bore and reed. High P and low F produce the highest sound levels and stronger higher harmonics. At low P, sound level can be increased at constant frequency by increasing P while simultaneously decreasing F. At high P, where lines of equal f and of equal L are nearly parallel, this compensation is less effective. Applying F further from the mouthpiece tip moves the playing regime to higher F and P, as does a stiffer reed.
134(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4817877View Description Hide Description
Stimuli used in timbre perception studies must be controlled carefully in order to yield meaningful results. During psychoacoustic testing of individual timbre properties, (1) it must be ensured that timbre properties do not co-vary, as timbre properties are often not independent from one another, and (2) the potential influence of loudness, pitch, and perceived duration must be eliminated. A mathematical additive synthesis method is proposed which allows complete control over two spectral parameters, the spectral centroid (corresponding to brightness) and irregularity, and two temporal parameters, log rise-time (LRT) and a parameter characterizing the sustain/decay segment, while controlling for covariation in the spectral centroid and irregularity. Thirteen musical instrument sounds were synthesized. Perceptual data from six listeners indicate that variation in the four timbre properties mainly influences loudness and that perceived duration and pitch are not influenced significantly for the stimuli of longer duration (2 s) used here. Trends across instruments were found to be similar.