This work explored how the perception of violin notes is influenced by the magnitude of the applied vibrato and by the level of damping of the violin resonance modes. Damping influences the “peakiness” of the frequency response, and vibrato interacts with this peakiness by producing fluctuations in spectral content as well as in frequency and amplitude. Initially, it was shown that thresholds for detecting a change in vibrato amplitude were independent of body damping, and thresholds for detecting a change in body damping were independent of vibrato amplitude. A study of perceptual similarity using triadic comparison showed that vibrato amplitude and damping were largely perceived as independent dimensions. A series of listening tests was conducted employing synthesized, recorded, or live performance to probe perceptual responses in terms of “liveliness” and preference. The results do not support the conclusion that liveliness results from the combination of the use of vibrato and a “peaky” violin response. Judgments based on listening to single notes showed inconsistent patterns for liveliness, while preferences were highest for damping that was slightly less than for a reference (real) violin. In contrast, judgments by players based on many notes showed preference for damping close to the reference value.

1.
Brown
,
C.
(
1988
). “
Bowing styles, vibrato and portamento in nineteenth-century violin playing
,”
J. Roy. Music. Assn.
113
,
97
128
.
2.
Cheng
,
F. P.-H.
(
2006
). “
Physics and perception of stringed instrument vibrato
,” MPhil. thesis,
University of Cambridge
, Cambridge, UK.
3.
Cremer
,
L.
(
1985
).
The Physics of the Violin
(
MIT Press
,
Boston, MA
).
4.
Curtin
,
J.
, and
Rossing
,
T.
(in press). “
Violins
,” in
Science of String Instruments
, edited by
T.
Rossing
(
Springer
,
New York
).
5.
Darwin
,
C. J.
,
Turvey
,
M.
, and
Crowder
,
R. G.
(
1972
). “
An auditory analogue of the Sperling partial report procedure: Evidence for brief auditory storage
,”
Cogn. Psychol.
3
,
255
267
.
6.
Ewins
,
D.
(
2000
).
Modal Testing: Theory, Practice and Application
(
Research Studies Press Ltd.
,
Baldock, England
).
7.
Fletcher
,
H.
, and
Sanders
,
L.
(
1967
). “
Quality of violin vibrato tones
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
41
,
1534
1544
.
8.
Fritz
,
C.
,
Blackwell
,
A. F.
,
Cross
,
I.
,
Moore
,
B. C. J.
, and
Woodhouse
,
J.
(
2008
). “
Investigating English violin timbre descriptors
,” in
Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition
,
Sapporo, Japan
.
9.
Fritz
,
C.
,
Cross
,
I.
,
Woodhouse
,
J.
, and
Moore
,
B. C. J.
(
2007
). “
Perceptual thresholds for detecting modifications applied to the acoustical properties of a violin
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
122
,
3640
3650
.
10.
Gaydecki
,
P.
(
2009
). “
Signal wizard 2
,” http://www.signalwizardsystems.com/ (Last viewed July 1, 2009).
11.
Gorrill
,
S.
(
1975
). “
A viola with electronically synthesised resonances
,”
Catgut Acoust. Soc. Newsletter
24
,
11
13
.
12.
Gough
,
G. E.
(
2005
). “
Measurement, modelling and synthesis of violin vibrato sounds
,”
Acust. Acta Acust.
91
,
229
240
.
13.
Mathews
,
M. V.
, and
Kohut
,
J.
(
1973
). “
Electronic simulation of violin resonances
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
53
,
1620
1626
.
14.
McAdams
,
S.
(
1989
). “
Segregation of concurrent sounds. I: Effects of frequency modulation coherence
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
86
,
2148
2159
.
15.
McAdams
,
S.
, and
Giordano
,
B. L.
(
2009
). “
The perception of musical timbre
,” in
Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology
, edited by
S.
Hallam
,
I.
Cross
, and
M.
Thaut
(
Oxford University Press
,
Oxford
), pp.
72
80
.
16.
McIntyre
,
M. E.
,
Schumacher
,
R. T.
, and
Woodhouse
,
J.
(
1981
). “
Aperiodicity in bowed-string motion
,”
Acustica
49
,
13
32
.
17.
McIntyre
,
M. E.
, and
Woodhouse
,
J.
(
1974
). “
Towards a psychoacoustically realistic violin physics
,”
Catgut Acoust. Soc. Newsletter
22
,
18
19
.
18.
Mellody
,
M.
, and
Wakefield
,
G.
(
2000
). “
The time-frequency characteristic of violin vibrato: Modal distribution analysis and synthesis
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
107
,
598
611
.
19.
Meyer
,
J.
(
1992
). “
Zur klanglichen Wirkung des Streicher-Vibratos (On the tonal effect of string vibrato)
,”
Acustica
76
,
283
291
.
20.
Moelants
,
D.
(
2004
). “
The timing of tremolo, trills and vibrato by string instrument players
,” in
Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition
, edited by
S.
Lipscomb
,
R.
Ashley
, and
P.
Webster
(
Northwestern University
,
Evanston, IL
).
21.
Moens-Haenen
,
G.
(
2009
). “
Vibrato
,” in Grove Music Online, Oxford music online, http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/29287 (Last viewed July 1, 2009).
22.
Neff
,
D. L.
, and
Green
,
D. M.
(
1987
). “
Masking produced by spectral uncertainty with multi-component maskers
,”
Percept. Psychophys.
41
,
409
415
.
23.
Prame
,
E.
(
1994
). “
Measurements of the vibrato rate of ten singers
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
96
,
1979
1984
.
24.
Prame
,
E.
(
1997
). “
Vibrato extent and intonation in professional western lyric singing
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
102
,
616
621
.
25.
Schoonderwaldt
,
E.
, and
Friberg
,
A.
(
2001
). “
Towards a rule-based model for violin vibrato
,” in
Proceedings of the Workshop on Current Research Directions in Computer Music
,
Barcelona, Spain
.
26.
Schumacher
,
R.
(
1992
). “
Analysis of aperiodicities in nearly periodic waveforms
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
91
,
438
451
.
27.
van Besouw
,
R. M.
,
Breteton
,
J. S.
, and
Howard
,
D. M.
(
1996
). “
Range of tuning for tones with and without vibrato
,”
Music Percept.
26
,
145
155
.
28.
Wickelmaier
,
F.
, and
Ellermeier
,
W.
(
2007
). “
Deriving auditory features from triadic comparisons
,”
Percept. Psychophys.
69
,
287
297
.
29.
Woodhouse
,
J.
(
1983
). “
On recognising violins: Starting transients and the precedence effect
,”
Catgut Acoust. Soc. Newsletter
39
,
22
24
.
30.
Yoo
,
L.
,
Sullivan
,
D.
,
Moore
,
S.
, and
Fujinaga
,
I.
(
1998
). “
The effect of vibrato on the response time in determining the pitch relationship of violin tones
,” in
Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition
, edited by
S. W.
Yi
,
Seoul, Korea
.
You do not currently have access to this content.