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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000317.txt from 2001/02

From: Bilwright@-----.net (William Wright)
Subj: Re: [kl] Combination tones......
Date: Fri, 9 Feb 2001 16:25:50 -0500

<><> Grant=A0Green wrote:
If you have a Mac, you can visualize this by using the Graphing
Calculator applet. For the equation [snip of good examples]

However, this analysis is incomplete. Our discussion concerns
what happens next. The algebra of summing two waves is interesting,
but it's not what we are discussing.

Does a tuner respond (physically and electrically) to the sum of
two waves in the same manner as the tissues in our ears respond?

Once again, we are not discussing metaphysics, such as trees
falling in forests where only mushrooms can hear. We are discussing
what can be measured inside the tuner and inside the human nervous
system (and _has_ been measured, see Benade and others).

To ask the question in more rigorous language: Do (a) the
electric signals that begin immediately past the tuner's 'membrane' and
(b) the electric signals that begin immediately past the ear's
'membrane' encode the same details about the acoustic wave? Do they
'hear' and subsequently process the same thing? This is what we are
discussing, or should be discussing.

The answer is (I believe) "No". The tuner's definition of 'a
tone' is different from the human ear's definition. This is doesn't
mean that the tuner's definition is useless, but the tuner does not
'hear' the same difference tone that we hear because the tuner does not
pay attention to the same details in the acoustic wave as our nerve
tissue does. Therefore the information that the tuner passes on to its
computer chip and the information that the ear passes on to its brain
cortex encode different details about the original acoustic wave ---
right from the beginning!
They simply aren't 'hearing" the same thing. At least, that's how
I see it.

Cheers,
Bill

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