Demonstrations of
Auditory Illusions and Tricks

2nd Edition

Contents Introduction Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4
Chapter 5 Chapter 6 References Archives Demo Index Top Page


III. Abstraction of Musical Melodies


back forward
<12> Successive Piano Tones
In pattern (a), a musical scale is played on the piano with short overlaps between the neighboring tones.   Despite the physical overlaps, the listener hears a coherent musical scale.   In pattern (b), the whole waveform is reversed in time, and the listener can hear the overlaps more easily.  

Kuwano, S., Namba, S., Yamasaki, T., & Nishiyama, K. (1994).
Impression of smoothness of a sound stream in relation to legato in musical performance.   Perception & Psychophysics, 56, 173-182.

play play







back forward
<13> Successive Piano Tones with the Sustaining Pedal
In pattern (a), a musical scale is played on the piano using the sustaining pedal continuously.   Decaying piano tones are simply added up.   Still the listener hears a coherent musical scale.   In pattern (b), the whole waveform is reversed in time, and the listener hears the concurrence of the tones more clearly.   However, the pattern gives a more complex perceptual impression.  

play play







back play forward
<14> A Melody of Silences
In a continuing sequence of seven tones, C5, F5, G5, A5, Bb5, C6 and D6, which are played simultaneously, short temporal gaps make a familiar melody.   This may seem a reversal of figure (sounds) and ground (silences).   In fact, the listener hears a clear melody, picking up not the beginnings but the ends of the silences (the onsets of the tones).   Each tone of the melody is perceived as continuing just until the onset of the next tone, although there is no direct acoustic cue to end the tone.  

Kubovy, M. & Daniel, J. (1983).
Pitch segregation by interaural phase, by momentary amplitude disparity, and by monaural phase.   Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, 31, 9, 630-634.

Fig.14

 

 

 

Contents Introduction Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4
Chapter 5 Chapter 6 References Archives Demo Index Top Page