Waves of Sound and Speech as Revealed by the Phonograph

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Macmillan, 1897 - Language and languages - 42 pages
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Page 16 - Mayer in the same year. The subject was taken up by Hermann about 1890, and he obtained valuable tracings by using the wax-cylinder phonograph. He succeeded in obtaining photographs of the curves on the wax cylinder, a beam of light reflected from a small mirror attached to the vibrating disc of the phonograph being allowed to fall on a sensitive plate while the phonograph was slowly travelling.
Page 34 - This sound is represented in the record by a series of waves. Then follow the waves of the vowel o. Next we have the sound nn (driving the air through the nose), also represented by a series of waves. Next the hissing sound iss, which has first something in it of the vowel e or i, and then the ss-s.
Page 33 - Each of these sounds, if taken individually, is represented on the phonograph record by a greater or less number of waves or vibrations, according to the pitch of the sound and its duration. The pitch, of course, will depend on the number of vibrations per second, or per hundredth of a second, according to the standard we take, but the number of the waves counted depends on the duration of the sound. As it is almost impossible to utter the same sound twice over in exactly the same fraction of a second,...
Page 18 - ... phonograph has been immensely improved, and we now have it in the form that you see before you. The machine used in this country is so geared that the wax cylinder.
Page 26 - The instrument now before you (and put into operation by Mr. Kean), which I shall call a phonograph-recorder, traces out, on a large scale, the curves of the indentations on the wax cylinder corresponding to each vibration of sound, and it does so in a way that seems to be highly satisfactory. It is now an instrument that can be used by other workers in this difficult department of research, and I hope that some of the younger physiologists and physicists will take the * M'KENDRICK, Observations...
Page 24 - ... part of a second. By counting the number of indentations or marks, which in a photograph have a curious appearance of being in relief, one can at once determine approximately the pitch of the tone, the vibrations of which make the impression. The tones highest in pitch were obtained from the piccolo and the xylophone. Here the pitch was about 1920 vibrations per second.
Page 22 - I have endeavoured to siudy the marks on the wax cylinder in thrce different ways — by casts, by photographs, and by mechanical devices. As regards the first method — taking casts, which was also attempted by Hermann and Boeke — the results were not .satisfactory. The most efficient method followed by me was to paint in the cylinder, with a camel-hair brush, a layer of celloidin dissolved in ether. This soon hardened, and the film could then be peeled off. The thin film thus obtained was then...
Page 24 - A we have a picture of the vibrations produced by the tones of the violin, and it will be seen that they vary in character. Sometimes the marks are a little apart, and at other times they blend into each other, the mark widening out as the receding point cut into the wax and then contracting as it receded.
Page 25 - ... cylinder. As I have already mentioned, Hermann photographed the oscillations of a beam of light reflected from a small mirror connected with the disc of the phonograph, the whole apparatus moving slowly. My method consists in the adaptation of a light lever to the phonograph itself, and so arranged that it (the point of the marker) would travel over all the ups and downs of the phonographic curve on the wax cylinder at an extremely slow rate. The obvious objection to any method of directly recording...
Page 32 - I wish to point out that when the record of a word is examined it is found to consist of a long series of waves, the number of which depends (1) on the pitch of the vowel constituents in the word, and (2) on the duration of the whole word or of its syllables individually. There is not for each word a definite wave form, but a vast series of waves, and, even although the greatest care be taken, it is impossible to obtain two...

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