A Rule of Thumb: The Bandwidth for Timbre Invariance Is One Octave

  title={A Rule of Thumb: The Bandwidth for Timbre Invariance Is One Octave},
  author={Stephen Handel and Molly L. Erickson},
  journal={Music Perception},
Listeners were unable to determine whether two different notes separated by an octave or more were played by the identical or a different wind instrument and similarly were unable to determine whether a vowel sung at different pitches separated by an octave or more was sung by the identical or a different soprano or mezzo-soprano. 
Is the bandwidth for timbre invariance only one octave
Timbre invariance refers to the ability to determine whether two notes at different pitches were played or sung by the same instrument or voice. Handel and Erickson (2001) reported thatExpand
Can listeners hear who is singing? A comparison of three-note and six-note discrimination tasks.
  • M. Erickson, S. Perry
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Journal of voice : official journal of the Voice Foundation
  • 2003
The ability of listeners to identify which pitch in an ascending or descending sequence of three or six stimuli was sung by a different singer was investigated, supporting the idea that timbre should be understood as a transformation that connects the different sounds of one source and that a "rich" set of sounds is necessary to discover the trajectory. Expand
Can listeners hear who is singing? A comparison of three-note and six-note discrimination tasks.
Abstract Summary: Timbre is typically investigated as a perceptual attribute that differentiates a sound source at one pitch and loudness. Yet the perceptual usefulness of timbre is that it allowsExpand
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The presentation of timbres and the difficulties which listeners encounter with their perceptions were discussed. These perceptions often results in the misidentification of the instrumentsExpand
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Small amounts of purposeful exposure to human voices appear to result in the beginnings of listener voice category formation, providing listeners with prototypical categories that can aid them in discrimination of novel voices of those same categories. Expand
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The ability to discriminate singers across pitch is the greatest for experienced listeners, followed by slightly trained inexperienced listeners, following by inexperienced listeners. Expand
Rapid Adaptation to the Timbre of Natural Sounds
It is demonstrated for the first time that listeners adapt to the timbre of a wide variety of natural sounds, and it is suggested that adaptation to timbral features used for object identification drives these effects, analogous to face adaptation in vision. Expand
The dependency of timbre on fundamental frequency.
The results suggest that timbre differences are perceived independently from differences of pitch, at least for F0 differences smaller than an octave. Expand
Acoustic and Categorical Dissimilarity of Musical Timbre: Evidence from Asymmetries Between Acoustic and Chimeric Sounds
A novel model of timbre dissimilarity based on partial least-squares regression that compared the contributions of both acoustic and categorical timbre descriptors was introduced and the best model fit was achieved when both types of descriptors were taken into account. Expand


Discrimination functions: can they be used to classify singing voices?
The ability to correctly choose the odd person varied greatly depending on pitch factors, suggesting that the traditional concept of an invariant timbre associated with a singer is inaccurate and that vocal timbre must be conceptualized in terms of transformations in perceived quality that occur across an individual singer's range and/or registers. Expand
Some Factors in the Recognition of Timbre
Listeners' recognition of wind‐instrument tones was investigated for the tone concert F on the treble staff (frequency approximately 349 cps). Tones of a flute, oboe, B‐flat clarinet, tenorExpand
Timbre Cues and the Identification of Musical Instruments
This study was designed to evaluate the relative importance of transients, harmonic structure, and vibrato as timbre cues in the absolute judgment of musical tones. Tape recordings were made of tonesExpand
Perceptual and Acoustical Features of Natural and Synthetic Orchestral Instrument Tones
Four experiments were conducted to explore the timbres of natural, continuant orchestral instruments with emulation based on sampling, frequency modulation ( FM) synthesis, and a hybrid consisting ofExpand
A Multidimensional Scaling Analysis of Musical Instruments' Time-Varying Spectra
A musical sound is usually defined by four qualities: its pitch, intensity, duration, and timbre. Pitch allows a musician to classify a sound on a scale ranging from low to high. Intensity classifiesExpand
A Sound-Synthesis Technique Based on Multidimensional Scaling of Spectra
This article presents the corresponding sound-synthesis technique, based on the same representation of sound, and summarizes the analysis of sound data, which yields a database from which the technique can rebuild the original sounds or synthesize new ones. Expand
Perceptual information for the age level of faces as a higher order invariant of growth.
Because cardioidal strain produces changes in structures that do not share an isomorphism of rigid (Euclidian) local features or rigid feature configurations, this transformation seems both sufficiently general and abstract to specify what J.J. Gibson has called a "higher-order invariant of perceptual information". Expand