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Re: 'Quintina' in Sardinian polyphonic songs: virtual voices or DPOAEs?

Combination tones that are higher than
the two primary sine-tones are recorded
in Figs. 10, 11, and 12 of R. Plomp,
"Detectability Threshold for Combination Tones",
J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 37 (1965) 1110-1123.

According to Figs. 10 and 11 (sound pressure levels
of the primary sine-tones 80 dB and 70 dB, respectively),
during a deeper tone of d=1000 Hz and a simultaneous
higher tone of h=1200 Hz, two of the four subjects heard
a combination tone of 5d-3h = 1400 Hz.

At d=1000 Hz and h=2400 Hz, the same two subjects
heard 2h-2d = 2800 Hz (Fig. 11; 70 dB).

Reinhart Frosch,
CH-5200 Brugg.

>-- Original-Nachricht --
>Date:         Tue, 25 Jan 2005 23:34:26 -0500
>Reply-To: chen-gia tsai <tsai.cc@xxxxxxxxx>
>From: chen-gia tsai <tsai.cc@xxxxxxxxx>
>Subject: 'Quintina' in Sardinian polyphonic songs:
>virtual voices or DPOAEs?
>To: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>Dear list members,
>In the realm of ethnomusicology it is well known that the
>polyphonic songs performed by the Sardinian Brotherhoods
>during Holy Week contain a virtual voice. There are always
>four voices. They produce one extra line above the four
>melodies. This fifth note is called the 'Quintina' in the
>The Quintina is produced with remarkable precision on top of
>several chords. But it become most clear when the four singers
>produce a harmony known as a major triad in root position.
>It is interesting to compare this effect to Tartini's tone
>and Helmholtz's combination tones. Hermann von Helmholtz
>mentioned that combination tones were most perceivable when
>two sopranos sing in major/minor thirds. The fact that the
>frequency ratios of the major and minor thirds are 1:1.25
>and 1:1.2 suggests a correlation to DPOAEs.
>The Quintina in Sardinian polyphonic songs may be more
>interesting than Tartini's tone and Helmholtz's combination
>tones. I have searched medical papers with keywords 'Sardinian
>& hearing' and found a hereditary disease in the Sardinian
>population: Alport syndrome. It is associated with
>sensorineural hearing loss.
>Is it possible that Alport syndrome affects DPOAEs and plays a
>role in the perception of Quintina in Sardinian polyphonic songs?
>I am not audiologist and my hypothesis may sound crazy.
>Any comment is much appreciated.
>Tsai, Chen-Gia.