Effect of carrier on the pitch of long duration vibrato tones

van Besouw, Rachel M. and Howard, David M. (2006) Effect of carrier on the pitch of long duration vibrato tones. 9th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, Bologna, Italy, 22 - 26 Aug 2006. Society for Music Perception & Cognition, 851-859.


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Previous studies on the pitch perceived for long-duration vibrato tones, where the modulator is
a symmetric function (e.g. sine or triangular wave) have shown that the pitch perceived is generally
the mean. For sinusoidal carriers modulated using a triangular wave is has been suggested that the
pitch perceived is closer to the geometric mean than the arithmetic mean.


A pilot study was undertaken with the aim of exploring the effect of carrier on the perceived
pitch and pitch strength of vibrato tones. The following carriers were investigated: a sinusoid, an
impulse with four resolved harmonics of equal amplitude (including f0), an impulse with twelve
harmonics and an impulse containing the fundamental plus unresolved harmonics nine to twelve
(all of equal amplitude).


Pitch matches were obtained between modulated and unmodulated tones using a two-interval
two-alternative adaptive procedure. The modulated tone was presented first, followed by one
second of silence and then the unmodulated tone. Subjects indicated which of the tones was higher
in pitch. Three carrier frequencies (fc = ERBN no. 4 (123.2Hz), 10 (442.3Hz) and 16 (1051.1Hz))
were investigated for each of the four carriers resulting in twelve experimental conditions. In
addition subjects were required to make unmodulated tone matches for all carriers at fc = ERBN
no. 10. Tone length was one second including 40ms raised cosine onset and offset ramps. The
modulator in all cases was a sinusoid with an initial phase of 0 degrees, a rate of 6Hz and extent
of ´s 6% of fc. All stimuli were presented at 45dBA.


A two-way repeated measures ANOVA revealed a significant main effect of carrier, F(3, 39) =
4.01, p < .05 and interaction between carrier and frequency. Overall there was much variation in
the subjects’ responses and this variation tended to increase with fc.


The results of this pilot study suggest that carrier type may affect the perceived pitch of tones
vibrato; however there was large variance in subject responses and so a long term study using
fewer, highly trained subjects is currently being undertaken to corroborate these results.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
ISBNs: 8873951554 (hardback)
Related URLs:
Keywords: pitch perception, vibrato tones, carrier type
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > Institute of Sound and Vibration Research > Human Sciences
ePrint ID: 46246
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2007
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:21
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/46246

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