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Re: place pitch and temporal pitch

Dear Ward, Eli, and others,

on Friday, March 19, 2004, Ward R. Drennan wrote:

> I've heard 4KHz and 8KHz sinusoids and the 8KHz always sounds higher than
> the 4 KHz. It's not timbre--- because it's a different pitch.

"Highness" is not a sufficient quality for pitch. All sounds have
"highness", but not all sounds have pitch. "Highness" is a sufficient
quality for a timbre component, though.

We should not be misled by the clean output of our lab machinery. In
electroacoustics, pure tones of 4 and 8 kHz are signals of one type. In
human hearing they are not.

Above about 4-5 kHz pure tones lose their normal ability to evoke relative
or absolute pitch, and melodies can no longer be heard. For the human
auditory system such signals are reduced to tiny stimuli on the timbre map.

On Sunday, March 21, 2004, Israel Nelken wrote:

> In general, I think one should be careful when invoking natural sounds
> since the auditory system of most mammals is pretty generalized. Cats
> evolved in the desert, but do extremely well in modern cities.

There are not many pure tones in modern cities, either. At least not any
that the cat couldn't well do without.


Martin Braun
Neuroscience of Music
S-671 95 Klässbol
web site: http://w1.570.telia.com/~u57011259/index.htm