ASA 128th Meeting - Austin, Texas - 1994 Nov 28 .. Dec 02

4aMUa8. Musicians' tendency to stretch larger-than-octave melodic intervals.

Andrzej Rakowski

Music Acoust. Lab., Chopin Academy of Music, Okolnik 2, Warsaw 00-368, Poland

Four musicians experienced in identifying musical intervals, but not possessing absolute pitch, tuned a pure-tone oscillator in individual sessions to obtain various melodic intervals with a standard pure tone 500 Hz. Within a single task the standard and variable tones were interchanging until the intended value of a melodic musical interval was obtained. Stimuli were presented via earphones at a loudness level 50 phons. An isosonic filter was used to maintain equal loudness of tones. The variable oscillator was set at either very low or very high frequency at the beginning of each task. The range of 3 octaves above and 2 octaves below standard was investigated and each subject tuned each of the 60 musical intervals within this range 10 times. The sequence of tunings within each octave was quasirandom. The results are presented as mean deviations of each interval from its equally tempered value. The dispersion of results as well as intersubject and intrasubject variability is shown. A tendency appears toward stretching large melodic intervals; they are stretched the more the larger they are. Maximum stretch across 5 octaves investigated is about 1 semitone. [Work supported by the Polish National Committee for Scientific Research.]