ASA 126th Meeting Denver 1993 October 4-8

4pPP4. The interaction of pitch, harmonics, and the equal loudness curves in timbre analysis of musical tones.

James M. Pyne

School of Music and Ctr. for Cognitive Sci., Ohio State Univ., 1855 College Rd., Columbus, OH 43235

Highly skilled musicians encounter great difficulty when attempting to communicate information concerning the timbre of musical tones. This can be a barrier to effective teaching in that musicians tend to think of individual sounds as unified single events rather than complex compounds that establish timbre characterizations. When taken into the realm of visual representation, understanding can be more easily achieved. The utilization of a Spectral Dynamics real-time analyzer has allowed coached student performers to react to a spectral display and has proven useful in tone quality development. Of special concern has been the reduction of excessive harshness when producing loud tones, and clarity when producing soft tones, both common problems in performance. Further definition concerning the interaction of pitch, harmonic content, and the equal loudness curves has been useful in a better mutual understanding of this process and it may also be pertinent for traditional music theorists as well.