Re: pitch neurons (Alain de =?iso-8859-1?Q?Cheveign=E9=27?= )

Subject: Re: pitch neurons
From:    Alain de =?iso-8859-1?Q?Cheveign=E9=27?=               <>
Date:    Sat, 12 Oct 2002 12:26:46 +0200

>Missing fundamental tones do exist in music. Once I listened to a >recording of harpsichord in a car, because the noises masked low >harmonics of harpsichord tones, the melody became purely rhythmic. >The pitch sensation elicited by unmasked, unsolved harmonics of >harpsichord tones was very weak. Harpsichord tones decay too fast >for the pitch sensation elicited by unsolved harmonics. >This masking effect would likely occur in Baroque music, as >harpsichord tones have strong harmonics at high frequencies. This was noted by Marin Mersenne almost 3 centuries before the invention of the car. He explained it simply by the weak amplitude of the later resonant part with respect to the percussive onset: "...that's why luths emerge so little in a concert of violas, because their percussion emerges only, rough and importunate, and the sound of resononace is stifled because of its weakness. The sound of épinettes [similar to harpsicord] is likewise stifled,..." (my translation). Mersenne, M. (1636), Harmonie Universelle, Paris: Cramoisy (reprinted 1975, Paris: Editions du CNRS), Livre premier: des instruments, Proposition IIII, p13. Alain -- Alain de Cheveigne' Ircam - CNRS, 1 place Igor Stravinsky, 75004, Paris, FRANCE. email: cheveign(at), phone: +33 1 44 78 48 46

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