Acoustics & Sound For Musicians - Online Book

The Theory Of Sound Which Constitutes The Physical Basis Of The Art Of Music.

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79. A question of fundamental importance now presents itself, viz. What becomes of beats, when they are so rapid that they can no longer be separately perceived by the ear? In order to answer it, tin-best plan is to take two unison-forks of medium pitch, mounted on their resonance-boxes, attach a small pellet of wax to a prong of one of them, and then gradually increase the quantity of wax. At first very slow beats are heard, and as long as their number does not exceed four or five in a second, the ear can follow and count them without difficulty. As they become more rapid the difficulty of counting them augments, until at last they cease to be separ­ately recognisable. Even then, however, the ear retains the conviction that the sound it hears is a series of rapid alternations, and not a continuous tone. Its intermittent character is not lost, although the intermittances themselves pass by too rapidly
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III