Fixed Average Spectra of Orchestral Instrument Tones

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dc.creator Plazak, Joseph
dc.creator Huron, David
dc.creator Williams, Benjamin 2010-04-08T08:52:23Z 2010-04-08T08:52:23Z 2010-01
dc.identifier.citation Empirical Musicology Review, v5 n1 (January 2010), 10-17 en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1559-5749
dc.identifier.other EMR000084a
dc.description.abstract The fixed spectrum for an average orchestral instrument tone is presented based on spectral data from the Sandell Harmonic Archive (SHARC). This database contains non-time-variant spectral analyses for 1,338 recorded instrument tones from 23 Western instruments ranging from contrabassoon to piccolo. From these spectral analyses, a grand average was calculated, providing what might be considered an average non-time-variant harmonic spectrum. Each of these tones represents the average of all instruments in the SHARC database capable of producing that pitch. These latter tones better represent common spectral changes with respect to pitch register, and might be regarded as an “average instrument.” Although several caveats apply, an average harmonic tone or instrument may prove useful in analytic and modeling studies. In addition, for perceptual experiments in which non-time-variant stimuli are needed, an average harmonic spectrum may prove to be more ecologically appropriate than common technical waveforms, such as sine tones or pulse trains. Synthesized average tones are available via the web. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Empirical Musicology Review en_US
dc.subject timbre en_US
dc.subject SHARC en_US
dc.subject controlled stimuli en_US
dc.title Fixed Average Spectra of Orchestral Instrument Tones en_US
dc.type Article en_US