By Jürgen Meyer, Uwe Hansen
This vintage reference on musical acoustics and function perform starts with a short creation to the basics of acoustics and the iteration of musical sounds. It then discusses the details of the sounds made by means of all of the general tools in a contemporary orchestra in addition to the human voice, the way the sounds made by way of those tools are dispersed and the way the room into which they're projected impacts the sounds.
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Additional resources for Acoustics and the performance of music
4 The Effect of Individual Partials The spectra of the horn in Fig. 4 show relatively smooth envelopes, which are largely characterized by the frequency range and the location of the formants. It is, however, entirely possible for individual partials to stand out within a spectrum, or on the other hand, have no intensity at all. In particular, sounds exist, for which odd numbered partials are more strongly developed than the even partials. A typical example of this is given by the gedackt organ pipes.
Furthermore, the sensitivity of the ear increases with increasing frequency of the vibrating tone; in the region between 1,000 and 2,000 Hz variations of Æ5 cents are sufficient, whereas at 200 Hz variations of about three times that strength are required (100 cents correspond to one half step in a tempered scale). These sensitivity limits are of interest in connection with the strength of a vibrato, for example. For periodic changes in sound pressure level, the largest sensitivity lies in the region around 4 Hz as well.
Raising the formants by 4–6 dB can intensify the character of a musical instrument, a further increase, however, is detrimental, making the sound rough and shrill (Mertens, 1975). The esthetic effect of formants on the sound of musical instruments rests primarily on the similarity with singing, since here the human element itself, in a measure, becomes the standard. Furthermore, formants in the musical tone picture receive particular significance, since this characteristic of sound (in contrast to the upper frequency limit of the spectrum) is essentially independent of room 32 2 Structure of Musical Sound acoustical influences.