4pMU14. On the duration of pre-Helmholtz triggering in bowed violin attacks.

Session: Thursday Afternoon, December 5

Time: 5:15

Author: Knut Guettler
Location: The Norwegian State Acad. of Music, P.O. Box 5190 Majorstua, N-0302 Oslo, Norway
Author: Anders Askenfelt
Location: Royal Inst. of Technol., S-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden


The attacks of most bowed notes on a violin show a nonperiodic initial part before Helmholtz triggering occurs. Depending on the particular combination of bowing parameters, this state is characterized either by periods which are prolonged, or by a division of the nominal period into two or several parts, multiple flyback. A ``perfect'' onset with only one slip per period from the very start is also possible. The present study includes: (a) computer simulations of a violin G-string and characterization of the attack quality as function of bowing parameters; (b) evaluation of acceptability of a series of (machine-bowed) violin attacks with respect to duration of the pre-Helmholtz triggering; the evaluation took place in a listening test that involved music students and professionals; (c) analyses of 1694 attacks in different musical contexts as performed by two professional violinists. The limits for acceptability established by the listening test were about 50 and 90 ms of prolonged and multiple-slip periods, respectively, for an open G-string (196 Hz). These demands were confirmed by the playing test, even for other strings and a larger group of bowing styles. [Work supported by The Nordic Research Council.]

ASA 132nd meeting - Hawaii, December 1996