Re: Lower frequency limit for pitch perception ("Frank A. Russo" )

Subject: Re: Lower frequency limit for pitch perception
From:    "Frank A. Russo"  <russof(at)PSYC.QUEENSU.CA>
Date:    Thu, 27 Apr 2000 11:34:40 -0400

Hi Paul, We have been doing some work in our lab on musical pitch perception of low-frequency complex tones. Here is a summary of findings that may be of interest: The ability to perceive tonality (i.e., as assessed by recovery of tonal hierarchy using a probe-tone methodology) is greatly attenuated for melodic contexts composed of piano tones lower than A1 (f0 < 55 Hz). However, some participants are able to reasonably recover tonality for melodic contexts composed of piano tones that span Eb0-Bb0 (f0 = 19.4 - 29.15 Hz). Hence, there seems to be some individual difference with respect to the lower limit of musical pitch perception where piano tones are concerned. Consistent with the above findings, we have found that most participants have difficulty matching the chroma of piano tones presented below A1 (f0 < 55 Hz) with piano tones presented in central octaves We have repeated the above experiments using synthesized complex tones that possess strong fundamentals and in-phase harmonically related partials. Lower-limits observed using these synthetic tones are similar to the lower-limits observed using piano tones. Here is a list of related references that may also be of interest: Bachem, A. (1948). Chroma fixation at the ends of musical frequency scale. JASA, 20, 204-705. Battistelli, Odoardi & Vicario (1988). Melody recognition at the limits of the tonal range. Italian Journal of Psychology, 15, 235-248. Guttman, N. & Pruzhansky, S. (1962). Lower limits of pitch and musical pitch. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 5, 207-214. Zwicker, E. (1961). Subdivisions of the audible frequency range into critical bands. JASA, 33, 248. Best, Frank. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Frank A. Russo Acoustics Lab, Department of Psychology Queen's University, Kingston, ON, K7L 3N6, Canada phone: 613-533-2490 fax: 613-533-2499 russof(at) -------------------------------------------------------------------------

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