Helmholtz's nasality revisited (Chen-gia TSAI )

Subject: Helmholtz's nasality revisited
From:    Chen-gia TSAI  <gia(at)SNAFU.DE>
Date:    Fri, 20 Dec 2002 21:09:24 +0800

Hello everyone, In "On the Sensations of Tone" (1877) Helmholtz reported that if only the odd-numbered harmonics were present, the quality of the tone was hollow, and, when a large number of such upper harmonics were present, it is nasal. My study of the timbre of the Chinese membrane flute lead me to revisit Helmholtz's nasality and hollowness. I have been looking for recent research on nasal vowels relevant to Helmholtz's nasality. But it seems that nasality is always related to global spectral features (e.g. pole, zero, formant), but never related to the local spectral feature mentioned by Helmholtz: "jagged" up-and-down spectral envelope due to weak energy in the even harmonics. I am afraid I just ignore some papers on nasality dealing with this. It would be wonderful to have some literature to refer to on Helmholtz's nasality, or some other ideas. Many thanks for any help! All best, Chen-Gia Tsai gia(at)snafu.de

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