Pitch Perception of Complex Tones.

Translated title of the contribution: Pitch Perception of Complex Tones.

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28 Scopus citations


The most important experimental results of pitch perception of complex tones are summarized in order to obtain a basis for a functional model of pitch perception. The pitch of simple tones and the ″residue″ pitch of complex tones exhibit quite different properties. The pitch of simple tones may be explained by the principles of the ″classical″ place theory. The ″residue″ pitch is closely related to the pure tone pitches of partials. It is concluded that the ″residue″ pitch may be regarded as a ″secondary sensation″ , derived from the pure tone pitches of dominant partials. In a psychoacoustical functional model the pitch of sinusoidal tones is derived from the loudness pattern distributed along the place coordinate. The ″residue″ pitch of complex tones is explained as a secondary sensation, derived from the pitches of partials and from the subjective frequency of envelope fluctuations. The model explains the phenomena described in part I, for example the various pitch shifts and the octave enlargement.

Translated title of the contributionPitch Perception of Complex Tones.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-199
Number of pages27
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1972


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