Brightness affecting pitch (Punita Singh )

Subject: Brightness affecting pitch
From:    Punita Singh  <pgsingh(at)HOTMAIL.COM>
Date:    Tue, 17 Feb 1998 22:16:31 PST

I have run into this phenomenon several times -- where the spectral locus of components in a complex (correlated with timbral "sharpness" or "brightness") affects judgments of pitch. For details re: pitch discrimination affected by changes in spectral locus, see: Singh, P.G. and Hirsh, I.J. (1992) "Influence of spectral locus and F0 changes on the pitch and timbre of complex tones", J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 92(5), 2650-2661. For interactions between brightness and pitch observed in a sequential grouping context, see: Singh, P.G. (1987) "Perceptual organization of complex-tone sequences: A tradeoff between pitch and timbre?" Both these papers contain other relevant references as well. Another reference which comes to mind, is a chapter by Hesse on judgment of musical intervals in the book "Music, mind and brain" Manfred Clynes (ed.), Plenum, 1983-- which showed some interaction between pitch judgments and brightness. My 1990 Ph. D. dissertation from Washington University, St. Louis, on "Perceptual correlates of spectral changes in complex tones" also contains several references on this topic (prior to 1990) ! ----- Punita ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at

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