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

@article{Handel2001ARO,
  title={A Rule of Thumb: The Bandwidth for Timbre Invariance Is One Octave},
  author={Stephen Handel and Molly L. Erickson},
  journal={Music Perception},
  year={2001},
  volume={19},
  pages={121-126}
}
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
TLDR
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.
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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
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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
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The results suggest that timbre differences are perceived independently from differences of pitch, at least for F0 differences smaller than an octave. Expand
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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
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