The Effect of Instrumental Timbre on Interval DiscriminationReportar como inadecuado

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We tested non-musicians and musicians in an auditory psychophysical experiment to assess the effects of timbre manipulation on pitch-interval discrimination. Both groups were asked to indicate the larger of two presented intervals, comprised of four sequentially presented pitches; the second or fourth stimulus within a trial was either a sinusoidal or -pure-, flute, piano, or synthetic voice tone, while the remaining three stimuli were all pure tones. The interval-discrimination tasks were administered parametrically to assess performance across varying pitch distances between intervals -interval-differences-. Irrespective of timbre, musicians displayed a steady improvement across interval-differences, while non-musicians only demonstrated enhanced interval discrimination at an interval-difference of 100 cents one semitone in Western music. Surprisingly, the best discrimination performance across both groups was observed with pure-tone intervals, followed by intervals containing a piano tone. More specifically, we observed that: 1 timbre changes within a trial affect interval discrimination; and 2 the broad spectral characteristics of an instrumental timbre may influence perceived pitch or interval magnitude and make interval discrimination more difficult.

Autor: Jean Mary Zarate , Caroline R. Ritson, David Poeppel



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