Psychological Characteristics of Sound: (1) Pitch

The Music Telegraph | Text 2019/09/14 [14:17]

Psychological Characteristics of Sound: (1) Pitch

The Music Telegraph| 입력 : 2019/09/14 [14:17]

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Psychological Characteristics of Sound: (1) Pitch

 

 

The psychological characteristics of sound explain the contents that humans feel directly through their ears through experience of music and sound. Listeners are very sensitive to minute changes in the pitch, making it easy to recognize the difference in sound. In fact, most music theories deal with the composition of pitch first, so pitch is more important than anything else in explaining music style. 

 

 

There are minimal elements for pitches that are distinguished by listeners and applied to all music. The first thing is the comparison that which sound's pitch is higher or lower than other sound in the relationship between musical notes. The second element is the octave relationship: the fact that a note is in one octave or more octave relationship with other note indicates homogeneity and similarity, and in some sense it means the same. The third element is 'Interval', which refers to the distance between musical notes when the musical notes are paired. Interval is a measurement unit of a distance between musical notes. In music theory, the basic unit of harmonics is interval.

 

 

Pitch can be represented by frequency (Hz) in physics. Low pitch sound can be recognized from 20 ~ 30 Hz when a person listens. Sound of the frequency below 20 Hz is not recognized by  human. As such, low-frequency sounds that are not recognized by human are called 'Subsonic', which is generally used for generating a beat or modulation of sound in music. On the other hand, the threshold of high pitch distinctions varies widely depending on a person. Most people do not hear the frequency above 16,000 Hz. This is directly related to age, so elderly people do not hear frequencies of 12,000 Hz or more. The frequency above the the threshold of human high pitch distinctions is called 'Supersonic' or 'Ultrasonic'.

 

 

Many of music that have existed for a long time have usually been created within the pitch of the human voice range, which is about 125 Hz to 1,000 Hz, about 4 octaves. The fundamental difference between frequency and pitch depends on whether we perceive it as a physical property or a psychological characteristic. In the octave relationship between two notes, the relationship between the two notes is a ratio of 2:1 frequency from a physical point of view. In physics, two notes in an octave have obviously different frequencies each other, but psychologically speaking, human perceive octaves as the same pitch.

 

 

Pitch, a psychological approach to sound, is a musical expression, and therefore, the important matter in pitch is whether notes are in a relationship of consonance or dissonance between each sound, unlike the frequency concept of physics. The interval between the notes is divided into the proper harmony and the improper harmony in music theories. Therefore, humans perceive some notes as more harmonious sounds and feel peace and stability in their minds.

 

 

 

 

 

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