Perception & Psychophysics

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 565–572 | Cite as

Accents in equitone sequences

  • Dirk-Jan Povel
  • Hans Okkerman
Article

Abstract

Equitone sequences are defined as sequences of tones that are identical in all respects: frequency, spectral composition, intensity, and duration. The only parameter varied in these sequences is the time-interval between tones. In such sequences, clear accents are perceived. This paper describes accent perception in equitone sequences containing two alternating intervals; such sequences are perceived as consisting of repeating groups of two tones. An accent is heard on the first tone of a group if the difference between the intervals is about 5% to 10%. If the difference is made bigger, the accent is heard on the last tone of the group; this latter accent is considerably stronger than the accent previously heard on the first tone. In a number of experiments, the conditions under which the two types of accents occur were investigated. From these experiments, it was tentatively concluded that the accent on the last tone is heard because that tone, since it is followed by a longer interval, can be processed more completely. This “intervalproduced” accent indeed occurs only if the between-group interval is considerably longer than the within-group interval and if the latter does not exceed a duration of about 250 msec. The effect is slightly dependent on tone duration. The interval-produced accent can be balanced if the nonaccented tone is increased by about 4 dB in intensity. This shows that the effect is quite robust. The specific type of accentuation reported here might explain some rhythmical phenomena, examples of which are given.

Reference Notes

  1. 1.
    Thomassen, J.Melodic accent: Experiments and a tentative model (Tech. Rep. 361). Eindhoven: I.P.O., 1979.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Thomassen, J.Waarneming van geringe dynamische accentuering in toonreeksen (Tech. Rep. 999). Eindhoven: I.P.O., 1977.Google Scholar

References

  1. Boone, M. M. Loudness measurements on pure tone and broad band impulsive sounds.Acustica, 1973,29, 198–204.Google Scholar
  2. Buytendijk, F. J. J., &Meesters, A. Duration and course of the auditory sensation.Commentationes Pontificia Academia Scientiarum, 1942,6, 557–576.Google Scholar
  3. Cooper, G., &Meyer, L. B.The rhythmic structure of music. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971.Google Scholar
  4. Elliot, L. Backward and forward masking of probe tones of different frequencies.Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 1962,34, 1116–1117. (a)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Elliot, L. Backward masking: Monotic and dichotic conditions.Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 1962,34, 1108–1115. (b)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Elmasian, R., &Galambos, R. Loudness enhancement: Monaural, binaural and dichotic.Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 1975,58, 229–234.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fraisse, P.Les structures rythmiques. Louvain: Publications Universitalres de Louvain, 1956.Google Scholar
  8. Harrell, T. W. Factors affecting preference and memory for auditory rhythms.Journal of Genetic Psychology, 1937,16, 427–469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Koehlen, W. Zur Theorie des Sukzessivvergleichs und der Zeitfehler.Psychologische Forschung, 1923,4, 115–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Massaro, D. W. Preperceptual auditory images.Journal of Experimental Psychoiogy, 1970,85, 411–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Massaro, D. W. Preperceptual images, processing time and perceptual units in auditory perception.Psychological Review, 1972,79, 124–145.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Needham, J. G. The time-error as a function of continued experimentation.American Journal of Psychology, 1934,46, 558–567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Neisser, U.Cognitive psychology. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1967.Google Scholar
  14. Plomp, R. Rate of decay of auditory sensation.Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 1964,36, 277–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Postman, L. The time-error in auditory perception.American Journal of Psychology, 1946,56, 193–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Povel, D. J. Internal representation of simple temporal patterns.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 1981,7, 3–18.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Reichardt, W., &Neise, H. Choice of sound duration and silent intervals for test and comparison signals in the subjective measurement of loudness level.Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 1970,47, 1083–1090.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Riesz, R. R. Differential sensitivity of the ear for pure tones.Physical Review, 1928,31,867–875.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Samoilova, I. K. Masking of short tone signals as a function of the time interval between masked and masking sounds.Biofizika, 1959,4, 555–558.Google Scholar
  20. Vos, P. G. Temporal duration factors in the perception of auditory rhythmic patterns.Scientific Aesthetics, 1977,1, 183–199.Google Scholar
  21. Wilson, R. H., &Carhart, R. Forward and backward masking: Interaction and additivity.Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 1971,49, 1254–1264.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Woodrow, H. A quantitative study of rhythm. InArchives of Psychology. No. 14. Columbia University Contributions to Philosophy and Psychology (Vol. 18, No. 1). New York: The Science Press, 1909.Google Scholar
  23. Zwislocki, J. J. Temporal summation of loudness: An analysis.Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 1969,46, 431–441.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Zwislocki, J. J. Masking: Experimental and theoretical aspects of simultaneous, forward, backward and central masking. In E. C. Carterette & M. P. Friedman (Eds.),Handbook ofperception (Vol. 4). New York: Academic Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  25. Zwislocki, J. J., Ketkar, I., Cannon, M. W., &Nodar, R. H. Loudness enhancement and summation in pairs of short sound bursts.Perception & Psychophysics, 1974,16, 91–95.Google Scholar
  26. Zwislocki, J. J., &Sokolich, W. G. On loudness enhancement of a tone burst by a preceding tone burst.Perception & Psychophysics, 1974,16, 87–90.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dirk-Jan Povel
    • 1
  • Hans Okkerman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Experimental PsychologyUniversity of NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations