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distancing effect in Chinese music

Dear list,

I have constructed a website of the Chinese membrane flute (dizi), where two audio files can be downloaded.


An interesting auditory effect can be noticed in these files: the distancing effect.

The distancing effect due to abrupt changes in brightness can be heard at 5'10 - 5'57 in the piece Langye Shenyun (A Wonderful Melody of Mountain Langye). Unexpected absence of high-frequency harmonics of dizi tones might be interpreted by the auditory system as an increasing distance from the sound source.

However, it seems that FM plays a role to evoke the illusion of increasing sound source distance. The psychological foundation of this effet is not fully understood.

Any comment is much appreciated.


Chen-Gia Tsai

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