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Chapter 11

PSYB51 Ch.11.doc

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Matthias Niemeier

Ch. 11- Music and Speech Perception • Music • high levels of neurotransmitters serotonin are responsible for negative aspects of emotion and mood--> disagreeable music increases this • listening to pleasurable music= changes in heart rate, muscle electrical activity, increased blood flow in brain regions that are thought to be involved in reward and motivation= promotive positivity, reduce pain, alleviate stress, improve resistance to disease • pitch= psychological aspect of sound related to perceived frequency • octave= intervel between two sound frequencies having a ratio of 2: 1 ◦ when one of two periodic sounds is double the frequency of the other, those two sounds are on octave apart= sound more similar to each other than to a sound with a closer frequency! • Musical pitch is typically described as having two dimensions • tone height= a sound quality corresponding to the level of pitch. Tone height is monotonically related to frequency. • Tone chroma= related to octave= a sound quality shared by tones that have the same octave intervel ◦ helix analogy= tone height and tone frequency increase as you get higher. Circular curves= tone chroma= same point along each lap around the helix, a sound lies on the vertical line and all sounds along this line share the same tone chroma and are separated by octaves ◦ **Recall: neurons in the auditory nerve signal frequency both by their location in the cochlea (place) and by the timing of their firing (temporal). Frequencies greater than 5000Hz- temporal coding does not contribute to perception of pitch. • Chords • chords= combination of three or more musical notes with different pitches played simulatenously • chords can be consonant (more pleasuring, simple ratios between the note frequencies) ◦ Ex. octave (2:1), perfect fifth (3:2), perfect fourth (4:3) • or dissonant ◦ Ex. minor second (16:15) or augmented fourth (45:32) • since chords are defined by the ratios of the note frequencies combined to produce them= named the same not matter what octave they're played in ◦ Ex. G minor= G, B and D regardless of what octave • Cultural Differences • heptatonic/pentatonic (Asian, blues, gospel) scale • Asian languages= singsongy= Mandarin= tone languages use changes in voice pitch (fundamental frequency) to distinguish different words ◦ language can influence use of musical scales= changes in pitch direction are larger and more frequent in spoken tone languages such as mandarin when compared to english/french/german and pitch changes in asian music (pentatonic scale) or larger and occur more often as well ◦ in scales in which octaves contain fewer notes, the notes may be more loosely tuned than are notes in the heptatonic Western scale= wider range of pitches could qualify for a given note= inc. Variation in a notes acceptable frequencies • Making Music • melody= a sequence of notes/chords perceived as a single coherent structure= defined by its contour (pattern of rises/declines in pitch)= as opposed to the exact sequence of sound frequencies • Ex. shift every note in a melody by one octave= same melody • tempo= perceived speed of the presentation of sounds= defined by average duration of a set of notes in a melody= same melody can be played at a fast/slow tempo • rhythm= listener's predisposed to grouping sounds into rhythmic patterns= accented/stressed vs. Unaccented/unstressed ◦ sounds that are longer, louder and higher= likely to be heard as leading their group • syncopation= any deviation from a regular rhythm, for example, by accenting a note that is expected to be unaccented or not playing a note (Rest) when a note is expected ◦ syncopated auditory polyrhythms= two off beat rhythms, one becomes predominant and the other takes a backseat, seemingly moving forward/ backward= rhythm is largely psychological • melody= like rhythm= largely psychological= our experience with a particular sequence of notes or with similar sequences that helps us perceive coherence= ability to learn melodies begins early on in life SPEECH • vocal tract= airway above the larynx used for the production of speech= includes oral and nasal tract= largely responsible for the versatility of human sound production • unlike other animals, human larynx is positioned quite low in the throat (leading to easier choking + inability to swallow and breathe at the same time after infancy) but limitations were outweighed evolutionarily by ability to speak/communicate • Speech Production • three basic components: lungs (respiration), phonation (vocal cords) and articulation (vocal tract)= speaking fluently requires coordination of these three aspects • Phonation= process through which vocal folds are made to vibrate when air is pushed out of the lungs = makes a buzz ◦ rate at which vocal folds vibrate depends on their stiffness and mass= become stiffer and vibrate faster as their tension increases--> sounds with higher pitcher= small vocal folds vibrate faster, leading to higher pitched voices in children= adult men have lower pitched voices because testosterone during puberty increases the mass of the vocal folds= these manipulations lead to phonation ▪ by varying tension of vocal folds (stiffness) and the pressure of airflow from the lungs, individual talkers can vary the fundamental frequency of voiced sounds ▪ vibration of vocal folds creates a harmonic spectrum (sounds like a buzz)= first harmonic corresponds to the actual rate of physical vibration of the folds (fundamental frequency) • Articulation= the act or manner of producing a speech sound using the vocal tract ◦ area above the larynx= oral tract and nasal tract combined= the vocal tract= humans have the ability to change the shape of the vocal tract by manipulating the jaw, lips, tongue body/tip, velum (soft palate) etc.= these manipulations lead to articulation ◦ resonance characteristics= changing the size/shape of the space through which sound passes increases/decreases energy at different frequencies= spectra of speech sounds are shaped by the way people configure their tracts as resonators ◦ formants= a resonance of the vocal tract. Formants are specified by their center frequency and are denoted by integers that increase with relative frequency= labelled from lowest to highest frequency= theses concentrations in energy occur at different frequencies, depending on the length of the vocal tract ▪ for shorter vocal tracts (children/short adults)= formants are at higher frequencies than for longer vocal tracts ▪ because absolute frequencies change depending on who's talking, listeners use the relationship between formant peaks to perceive speech sounds= for the most part we can distinguish almost all speech sounds on the basis of energy in the region of these lowest three formants= however additional formants do exist, at higher frequencies with lower amplitudes • **distinctive characteristics of speech= SPECTRA CHANGE over time= third dimension (time) in addition to the dimensions of frequency and intensity/amplitude ◦ spectogram= in sound analysis, a 3D display that plots time on the horizontal axis, frequency on the vertical axis and amplitude/intensity on a color or gray scale ▪ formants show up clearly in spectograms as bands of acoustic energy that undulate up and down, depending on the speech sounds being produced • Classifying Speech Sounds • most often described in terms of articulation ◦ vowel sounds made with a relatively open vocal tract= vary in how high/low or how far forward/back the tongue is placed ◦ consonants are produced by obstructing the vocal tract in some way= each can be classified according to 3 articulatory dimensions ▪ place of articulation= airflow can be obstructed • at the lips (b, p, m) • at the alveolar ridge just behind the teeth (d, t, n) • at the soft palate (g, k, ng) ▪ manner of articulation= airflow can be • totally obstructed • partially obstructed • only slightly obstructed • first blocked and then allowed to sneak through (ch) • blocked at first from going through the mouth, but allowed to go through the nasal passage (m, n) ▪ voicing= the vocal cords may be • vibrating (voiced consonants: b, m, l= when finger on your larynx you will feel the consonants vibrating) • not vibrating (voiceless consonants= p, s, ch) ◦ most languages use fewer consonants and vowels than English ◦ most languages have developed over generations to include only sounds that are relatively easy to tell apart= easily distinguishable sounds ◦ also easily distinguishable because= all distinctions btwn vowels and consonants are signalled with multiple differences between sounds= so more than one acoustic property is used to tell two sounds apart= redundancy= can still perceive speech nearly perfectly if all energy above and below 1800 Hz is taken away • Speech Perception • very fast= 10-15 consonants/vowels per second= can even double this rate • articulators (tongue, lips, jaw etc)= can move only so fast, and mass/inertia keep articulators from getting all the way to the position for the next consonant or vowel • coarticulation= the phenomenon in speech whereby attributes of successive speech units o
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