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voice tracking


Could anybody tell me about the availability of empirical/experimental
data about the following phenomenon. When listening to plural voiced
music, say a simple choral or hymn, it is quite easy, if not natural /
default, to track the soprano voice, whereas it requires attention
(effort, training..) to track lower voices. Similarly so, there exist
much more concerto's for a high pitched solo instrument (eg violin) and
orchestra than for combinations with low-pitched instruments. It's
natural to suppose that the reasons are eventually found in
psycho-acoustic constraints such as the anisotropic aural sensitivity
for auditory frequencies and masking effects. This question was recently
addressed also to the Psymus list, dedicated to music perception and
performance issues, and received a few relevant answers on the possible
mechanisms behind the phenomena, but is was suggested that no empirical
research data are available.

Thank you in advance for your help,

Piet Vos
Piet G. Vos
section Perception NICI, U. Nijmegen
P.O.Box 9104
6500 HE Nijmegen NL
tel: +31 24 36126 31/20; fax: +31 24 361 60 66; vos@nici.kun.nl
home-page: http://www.nici.kun.nl/~vos

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