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Scientific legacy of Professor Andrzej Rakowski in current studies of pitch discrimination in music

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This paper is an overview of experimental studies of pitch discrimination and pitch strength in music conducted in recent years at the Chopin University of Music. The studies were inspired by Professor Andrzej Rakowski’s findings and ideas on the foundations of pitch perception in music. The measurements of pitch discrimination show that the ability to hear pitch differences markedly decreases below 200-Hz frequency so that the pitch discrimination threshold increases to about a semitone at very low frequencies. The auditory system’s relatively poor ability of pitch discrimination of low-frequency tones also manifests itself in much less accurate identification of musical intervals and melodic patterns in the lowest octaves of the musical scale, comparing with higher octaves. The paper also discusses the results of an experiment which indicate that some percussion instruments of the indefinite pitch family produce a sensation of pitch strength comparable with melodic instruments.
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Bibliogr. 15 poz., wykr.
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