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J Acoust Soc Am. 2012 Dec;132(6):4002-12. doi: 10.1121/1.4765081.

Perceptual evaluation of violins: a quantitative analysis of preference judgments by experienced players.

Author information

1
Computational Acoustic Modeling Laboratory, Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology, Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1E3, Canada. charalampos.saitis@mcgill.ca

Abstract

The overall goal of the research presented here is to better understand how players evaluate violins within the wider context of finding relationships between measurable vibrational properties of instruments and their perceived qualities. In this study, the reliability of skilled musicians to evaluate the qualities of a violin was examined. In a first experiment, violinists were allowed to freely play a set of different violins and were then asked to rank the instruments by preference. Results showed that players were self-consistent, but a large amount of inter-individual variability was present. A second experiment was then conducted to investigate the origin of inter-individual differences in the preference for violins and to measure the extent to which different attributes of the instrument influence preference. Again, results showed large inter-individual variations in the preference for violins, as well as in assessing various characteristics of the instruments. Despite the significant lack of agreement in preference and the variability in how different criteria are evaluated between individuals, violin players tend to agree on the relevance of sound "richness" and, to a lesser extent, "dynamic range" for determining preference.

PMID:
23231129
DOI:
10.1121/1.4765081
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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