Re: Lower frequency limit for pitch perception (Daniel Pressnitzer )

Subject: Re: Lower frequency limit for pitch perception
From:    Daniel Pressnitzer  <Daniel.Pressnitzer(at)IRCAM.FR>
Date:    Tue, 2 May 2000 20:39:13 +0200

Dear Paul, We just collected some data on the lower limit of pitch at the CNBH in Cambridge, which you might be interested to hear about. In order to differentiate between pitch and other percepts (e.g. roughness, whooshing, etc...), we asked listeners to perform a simple melody task: if they could do it, we assumed they heard a pitch. The task was as follows. First, a 4-note chromatic melody was played with notes randomly chosen within a 4-semitone range. The lowest note was referred to as "the base note". Then, the melody was repeated with a semitone change introduced on one of the notes. The task was to indicate which note had changed. An adaptive procedure was used to measure the lowest fundamental frequency of the base note for which the task was possible. We called this frequency the lower limit of melodic pitch (LLMP). We found that the LLMP was as low as 30Hz for broadband click trains. The LLMP is approximately the same for bandpass-filtered harmonic complexes with a lower cutoff less than 800Hz. When the lower cutoff is above 800Hz and some low-pass pink noise is added to mask distortion products, the LLMP increases. It is around 100Hz for a lower cutoff of 1.6kHz, and higher than 250Hz for a cutoff of 3.2kHz. Cheers, Daniel Pressnitzer, Patterson and Krumbholz (1999). The lower limit of melodic pitch with filtered harmonic complexes. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 105, p. 1152 [This is an abstract. A paper has been submitted since...] A useful reference, in addition to the ones that have already been mentioned: Ritsma (1962). The existence region of the tonal residue I. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 34, p. 1224-1229

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