by Dr.


Nowadays information is sent in such a way, as to be easily understood. Perceivable it is due to her two fundamental states of being - sensory and potential. According to the laws of physics, the particles that leave the transmitter towards the receptor contain information and have energetic power of charge, conservation, transport, conversion (translation) of data. The nonlocal transmission of music does not take in account neither the cultural level of the persons engaged in communication, nor their level of professional mastery, nor the psychic state of mind of the partners on the day of the interpretative action, but only the level of musical interpretation, technically, esthetically, formally as level of personal contribution, the quality of the instruments.
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Producing musical sounds and listening to them is almost always done in rooms or halls-technically speaking- in enclosed spaces. These enclosed spaces have by Cait bounding surfaces (walls, floor, ceiling) that reflect the incident sound. Because of these reflections the emitted Sound dots not only reach the cars of the listener via the straight line from source to listener, but also via numerous other paths. The sound that reaches the listener without any reflection is called the direct sound; the sound that arrives after one or more reflections is called the indirect sound or reverberation. The presence of an indirect sound field has a profound influence on the sound image that the listener receive. The subjective effects of the indirect sound field make up what is called the acoustics of a room or hall. L. Ionescu, Room acoustics and psychophysics ©


by Mary Ruth Walsh

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Psychophysics is commonly defined as the quantitative branch of the study of perception, examining the relations between observed stimuli and responses and the reasons for those relations. This is, however, a very narrow view of the influence it has had on much of psychology. Since its inception, psychophysics has been based on the assumption that the human perceptual system is a measuring instrument yielding results (experiences, judgments, responses) that may be systematically analyzed. Because of its long history (over 140 years), its experimental methods, data analyses, and models of underlying perceptual and cognitive processes have reached a high level of refinement. For this reason, many techniques originally developed in psychophysics have been used to unravel problems in learning, memory, attitude measurement, and social psychology. In addition, scaling and measurement theory have adapted these methods and models to analyze decision making in contexts entirely divorced from perception.

by Gerard Byrne
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Psychophysics also refers to a general class of methods that can be applied to study a perceptual system. Modern applications tend to rely heavily on ideal observer analysis and signal detection theory. Psychophysics has important practical applications. For example, in the study of digital signal processing psychophysics has informed the development of models and methods of loss compression. These models explain why humans perceive very little loss of signal quality when audio and video signals are formatted using loss compression. Many of the classical techniques and theory of psychophysics were formulated in 1860 when Gustav Theodor Fechner published “Elemente der Psychophysik”. He coined the term "psychophysics", describing research that he thought related physical stimuli to the contents of consciousness such as sensations. Where as the physical aspects of sound in an enclosed space have been studied for almost a century, the subjective effects cannot claim a long history of research. Research in subjective room acoustics begins after World War II, and its results up to now are mainly tentative.
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by Mark Francis
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We will first briefly examine the physical aspects of indirect sound. The differences between a situation with and one without indirect sound may be summarized in three points: 1. The indirect sound adds sound energy at the position of the listener, resulting in a higher intensity than there would be without indirect sound. The gain can be substantial and depends, of course, on the sound absorption (and reflection) of the boundaries. It can be up to 10 or 15 dB. 2. The indirect sound arrives later than the direct sound because its path is always longer. If the indirect sound includes some strong single late reflections with delays of more than 50 m/sec, these are called echoes. Usually, it is possible to distinguish some discretely traceable reflections from the walls and ceiling that arrive first after the direct sound and a mass of diffuse later reflections coming from all directions.
by Tim Tate
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The subjective effects of a room on the perceived sound can be separated in theoretical description. However, in practical situations and even under laboratory conditions, they can never be separated because they are all dependent on one physical source, the indirect sound. The subjective aspects of the spatial effects of indirect sound are indicated here by the term spaciousness. In the literature no prevailing term has come up yet. One finds terms such as "liveness", "richness", "ambience", "fullness of tone", "spatial responsiveness", "spatial impression", "resonance", and "reverberance". In the German literature the list of terms is restricted to Raumeindruck, Räumlichkeit and Halligkeit (room impression, spaciousness, and reverberance). The German authors treat Raumeindruck as a generic term, with Räumlichkeit and Halligkeit as special aspects.

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by Alfredo Álvarez Plágaro
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by Tom Climent

The subjective aspects of spaciousness have been described by Maxfield and Albersheim (1947) as follows: (1) a change in the general tone quality, stated by musicians to be improved "resonance" or "roundness;" (2) the blending of the sound from the various instruments of an orchestra into a single coordinated sound; (3) the sense of acoustic perspective; (4) the realization on the part of the listener of the approximate size of the auditorium., Beranek mentions the following aspects of a "live room": more uniform loudness, enhancement of bass and treble, fullness of tone, range of crescendo, sound diffusion, intimacy and texture. In this list level and temporal effects are also included.

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The right amount of definition and spaciousness are decisive for good subjective room acoustics. However, function is negatively correlated with indirect sound while spaciousness is positively correlated. So, it will not come as a surprise that definition and spaciousness have a high negative interrelation. This means that in practice a by Bea McMahon compromise between requirements for definition and spaciousness is always necessary. However, comparing the formulas for clarity (objective definition) and objective spaciousness, one will notice that one component of the sound field affects both definition and spaciousness positively. It is the sound coming from the sides and from the rear later than 40 m/sec and earlier than 80 m/sec after the direct sound. It may be concluded that these reflections are of great importance for good acoustics of a room or L. Ionescu, Room acoustics and psychophysics © 12 hall.

Subjective musical room acoustics is a relatively new field of scientific enquiry. It does not posses timehonoured concepts, methods, or basic results. It is not yet a standard component of handbooks, textbooks, university curricula, or scientific institutions. Its nature is to a large extent interdisciplinary. Methods and concepts have been derived from physical acoustics as well as from psychology and from musicology. However, the rapid growth of the literature concerning its problem areas during the last decade shows that it will soon become an indispensable part of both room acoustics and psychophysics.
by Isabel Nolan
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Out of the recent literature an important subjective features of room acoustics have emerged: spaciousness. A number of definitions and measurement procedures for both the subjective attributes and its objective counterparts have been proposed, which include a wide range of ways of thinking. Much research will still be needed before the interrelation between the two basic concepts as well as their connection with physical-acoustical properties are fully understood. However, there are several methods available that promise good progress, such as simulation techniques for room acoustics and the modulation-transfer function. These methods have a mainly physical background. They should be applied along with methods such as factor analysis and multidimensional scaling, which have a predominantly psychological origin. The recognition of the hybrid nature of subjective musical room acoustics is essential for the solving of its questions and problems.
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by Carla Guagliardi

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REFERENCES Beranek, L. L. Acoustics. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1954. Edwards, R. M. A subjective assessment of concert hall acoustics. Acoustica, 1974, 39, 183-195. Gescheider G (1997). Psychophysics: the fundamentals (3rd ed.). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Hawkes, R. J., & Douglas, I1. Subjective acoustic experience in concert auditoria. Acustica, 1971, 24, 135-150. Houtgast, T., & Steenken, H.J.M. The modulation transfer function in room acoustics as a predictor of speech intelligibility. Acustica, 1973, 28, 66-73. Kuhl, W. Über Versuche zur Ermittlung der günstigsten Nachhallzcit grosser Musikstudios. Acustica, 1954, 4, 618-634. Kuhl, W. Räumlichkeit als Koelemente des Raumeindrucks. Acustica, 1978, 40, 167-181. Lochner, J. P., & De Villiers Keet, W. Stereophonic and quasi-stereophonic reproduction. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 1960, 32, 393-401.
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Macfadyen, K. A. A method of assessing musical definition in an auditorium. Applied Acoustics, 1970, 3, 181-190. Maxfield, J. P., & Albersheim, W. J. An acoustic constant of enclosed spaces with their apparent livencss. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 1947, 19, 71-79. Meyer, J. Acoustics and performance of music. Frankfurt am Main: Das Musikinstrument, 1978. Reichardt, W. Vergleich der objectiven raumakustischen Kriterien für Musik. Hochfrequenztechnik and Elektroakustik, 1970, 79, 121128. Reichardt, W., Abdel Alim, U., & Schmidt, W. Definition and Messgrundlage eines objektiven Masses zur Ermittlung der Grenze zwischen brauchbarer and unbrauchbarer Durchsichtigkeit bei Musikdarbictung. Acustica, 1975, 32. Reichardt, W., & Lehmann, U. Sind Raumeindruck and Durchsichtigkeit des Hürerlebnisses im Konzert­saal Gegensätze? Applied Acoustics, 1976, 9.

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Reichardt, W., & Lehmann, U. Raumeindruck als Oberbegriff von Räumlichkeit and Halligkeit, Erläuterungen des Raumeindrucksmasses R. Acustica, 1978, 40, 277-290. (a) Reichardt, W., Schmidt, W., Lehmann, U., & Ahnert, W. Definition and Messgrundlagen als Mass für den Raumeindruck bei Musikdarbictungen. Zeitscbrift ftir elektroniscbe Informations- and Energietecbnik, 1974, 4, 225-233. Stevens, S. S. (1957).. On the psychophysical law. Psychological Review 64(3):. pp. 153–181.

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Room acoustics and psychophysics
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