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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000275.txt from 2001/02

From: (Tony Pay)
Subj: Re: [kl] Organs and combination tones
Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2001 16:44:29 -0500

On Thu, 8 Feb 2001 09:32:46 +0000 (GMT), said:

> Dear Tony et al.,

> Are you claiming that there is no harmonic component corresponding to
> a difference tone which can be detected by any suitable apparatus?


But it's quite difficult to keep your head straight about all of this
stuff, because for us, our *reality* is that an oboe and a clarinet
playing together can be heard as that, even when heard only through one

The physical facts are, though, that when we listen to such a monaural
stimulus, all our (one) eardrum gets is a varying pressure wave, which
can be recorded in just one wiggly line -- say, on a gramophone record.
Amazingly, just such a wiggly line can also recreate for us a whole
orchestra, and we can distinguish all the different instruments from
that information. (I know you know this, but it's too amazing to
refrain from saying it!)

On the other hand, you can analyse the clarinet and oboe wiggly line by
a whole slew of different apparatuses or apparati. What any apparatus
would come up with, would depend on what it was designed to capture.

What the human ear does is to add another perceived tone, for reasons
to do with the evolutionary history of our hearing systems, and what
they were 'designed' to capture. But strangely enough, that is one of
the things that makes music what it is for us, when you follow the
(complicated and still controversial) evolutionary story through.

So, when I said in another post:

> Music is a function of us, and how we are, not of stuff outside us. So
> it's not surprising that it begins in the perception of difference
> tones.

...I wasn't kidding!

_________ Tony Pay
|ony:-) 79 Southmoor Rd
| |ay Oxford OX2 6RE GMN artist:
tel/fax 01865 553339

... To shoot a mime, do you use a silencer?

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