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sheperd tones and streaming

Thanks. It seems we use the same word to have different meanings.

My use of the terms are as follows:
  segregation:  in a "single sound", hearing elements / components, such as hearing five partials within a low CC played on a piano
  integration:  in a "single sound", hearing the elements / components fused together, such as hearing a sawtooth wave as a "single sound"

What you call "integration of successive tones", I now call "streaming", a term I learned originally as channelization in the 1970s, in a book on auditory perception, translated from the german as I recall.


In the way I use the terms, integration and segregation are (quasi)non-time based; streaming is the time-based linking together of segregated elements.

(One of the characteristics of the elements I 'segregate' is that they can be moved in time independently.)

Western music theory could be seen as having two basic 'forms' -- integration (called harmony), and segregation followed by streaming, called melody and counterpoint.


> Leon van Noorden wrote:
>> Dear Bruno,
>> I do not understand the use of the term streaming here. For me it is the integration of successive tones in a coherent melodic line. Here you and Kevin are talking about hearing a complex tone as a single complex entity or a bunch of harmonics with octave relations. What do you mean by streaming here? is it the integration of the complex in a single percept or the singling out of the separate harmonics. I am not happy with neither of these meanings.
>> Best,
>> Leon

> Date:    Thu, 10 Dec 2009 10:21:36 -0500
> From:    Bruno Repp <repp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Subject: Re: pulse / beat / meter etc
> Dear Leon:
> You are right, perhaps I should not have called the "hearing out" of 
> partials of a complex tone "streaming." However, when two Shepard tones 
> spanning a tritone interval are presented in succession (in the "tritone 
> paradox"), listeners (especially musicians) often report hearing two 
> simultaneous pitch changes in opposite directions. This means they hear 
> one octave partial going up by a tritone and another partial going down 
> a tritone. This seems very similar to streaming to me. By extension, 
> even when no conflicting pitch changes are perceived, a listener may 
> still hear separate partials changing pitch in the same direction. By 
> contrast, when I listen to these tones, I always hear a clear pitch 
> change up or down and never conflicting changes in partials, of which I 
> am not strongly aware. For me and other "synthetic listeners," 
> successive Shepard tones form a single pitch stream, as it were.
> For those interested in Shepard tones and the tritone paradox, I have a 
> new article just out:
> Repp, B. H., & Thompson, J. M. (in press). Context sensitivity and 
> invariance in perception of octave-ambiguous tones. /Psychological 
> Research. /DOI 10.1007/s00426-009-0264-9
> Best,
> Bruno
>> On 09 Dec 2009, at 16:23, Bruno Repp wrote:
>>> Dear Kevin:
>>> Let me assure you that you CAN stream the multiple octaves in a 
>>> Shepard tone; in fact, this is what most musicians do. They are 
>>> "analytic listeners", unlike myself for example, who just hears 
>>> (mainly) a single pitch. However, even if you stream the octaves, you 
>>> should hear any particular stream as continuously descending as long 
>>> as you hang on to it. If you switch attention to another stream 
>>> because you want to focus on a particular octave, then of course the 
>>> descent will be interrupted and reset. The point of Madison's 
>>> illusion seems to be that listeners hang on to a chosen beat level 
>>> for a long time, even when the beat becomes unreasonably slow (or 
>>> fast). However, it is unclear how obligatory this tendency is, and 
>>> how aware participants are of the continuous change in beat rate. The 
>>> willingness to switch from one beat level to another could probably 
>>> be manipulated through instructions.
>>> Best,
>>> Bruno
>>> Kevin Austin wrote:
>>>> ...
>>>> Regarding the Risset, and shepard tones, I do not hear continuous 
>>>> descent as I tend not to integrate the tone but stream the multiple 
>>>> octaves, something I am told I cannot do. 
>>>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUNjbNK5Giw&feature=related
>>>> For the beat and other 'illusions' : 
>>>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6JSTkwXg90&feature=related
>>>> This site is based upon the belief that an external reality exists. 
>>>> IMV.
>>>> Kevin