On the Sensations of Tone as a Physiological Basis for the Theory of Music

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Longmans, Green, 1885 - Music - 576 pages

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Page 194 - But there are certain determinate ratios between pitch numbers, for which this rule suffers an exception, and either no beats at all are formed, or at least only such as have so little intensity that they produce no unpleasant disturbance of the united sound. These exceptional cases are called consonances.
Page 194 - When two musical tones are sounded at the same time, their united sound is 1 generally disturbed by the beats of the upper partials, so that a greater or less part of the whole mass of sound is broken up into pulses of tone, and the joint effect is rough. This relation is called Dissonance. But there are certain determinate ratios between...
Page 119 - When partial tones higher than the sixth or seventh are very distinct, the quality of tone is cutting and rough. The reason for this will be seen hereafter to lie in the dissonances which they form with one another. The degree of harshness may be very different. When their force is inconsiderable the higher upper partials do not essentially detract from the musical applicability of the compound tones ; on the contrary, they are useful in giving character and expression to the music.
Page 10 - Having thus spoken of the principal division of sound into Noise and Musical Tones, and then described the general motion of the air for these "tones, we pass on to the peculiarities which distinguish such tones one from the other. We are acquainted with three points of difference in musical tones, confining...
Page 363 - We are justified in assuming," says Helmholtz, in Part III., Chapter IX., of the " Sensations of Tone," " that, historically, all music was developed from song. Afterward the power of producing similar melodic effects was attained by means of other instruments, which had a quality of tone compounded in a manner resembling that of the human voice.
Page 7 - Each organ of sense produces peculiar sensations which cannot be excited by means of any other; the eye gives sensations of light, the ear sensations of sound, the skin sensations of touch. Even when the same sunbeams which excite in the eye sensations of light impinge on the skin and excite its nerves, they are felt only as heat, not as light. In the same way the vibration of elastic bodies heard by the ear can also be felt by the skin, but in that case produce only a whirring, fluttering sensation,...
Page 149 - Nerves have been often and not unsuitably compared to telegraph wires. Such a wire conducts one kind of electric current and no other; it may be stronger, it may be weaker, it may move in either direction; it has no other qualitative differences. Nevertheless, according to the different kinds of apparatus with which we provide its terminations, we can send telegraphic despatches, ring bells, explode mines, decompose water, move magnets, magnetise iron, develop light, and so on. So with the nerves.
Page 252 - ... is only possible when the steps of this motion, their rapidity and their amount, are also exactly measurable by immediate sensible perception. Melodic motion is change of pitch in time. To measure it perfectly, the length of time elapsed, and the distance between the pitches, must be measur^1 able. This is possible for immediate audition only on condition that the alterations both in time and pitch should proceed by regular and determinate degrees.
Page 235 - ... the system of scales, modes, and harmonic tissues does not rest solely upon unalterable natural laws, but is at least partly also the result of aesthetical principles, which have already changed, and will still further change, with the progressive development of humanity.
Page 60 - All these helps fail in the resolution of musical tones into their constituent partials. When a compound tone commences to sound, all its partial tones commence with the same comparative strength ; when it swells, all of them generally swell uniformly ; when it ceases, all cease simultaneously. Hence no opportunity is generally given for hearing them separately and independently. In precisely the same manner as the naturally connected partial tones form a single source of sound, the partial tones...

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