Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Experimental Psychology: A Manual of Laboratory Practice, Vol. I: Qualitative Experiments, part 2: Instructor's Manual
Titchener, Edward B.
§ 20. Clang Analysis: Overtones 
possess even a moderately good ‘ musical ear,’ — a simultaneous 
procedure may be substituted for them. Tube and whistle are 
sounded together, and the piston of the whistle pushed back and 
forth until the difference-tone is clearly heard. Then the direc¬ 
tion in which the difference-tone deepens is determined, and the 
piston moved in that direction until unison is reached. The 
successive comparisons should always be attempted before 
recourse is had to the alternative method. 
Literature. — Helmholtz, Sensations of Tone, 1895, 19, 21, 
66 ff., 118 f., 127. 
Sanford, Course, 1898, 64, exp. 74. 
Stumpf, Tonpsychologie, i., 235, 240, 426; ii., 406, 516-520. 
§ 20. Clang Analysis : Overtones. — Cautions not noted, in the 
Text. — As a rule, the odd-numbered partials are easier to hear 
than the even-numbered. These latter are octaves, either of the 
fundamental or of some one of the upper partials that lies near 
it. Thus the second, fourth and eighth partials are higher 
octaves of the fundamental ; and the sixth is the octave of the 
third partial. The third partial is the twelfth (octave + fifth) of 
the fundamental ; the fifth partial lies two octaves and a major 
third above it ; the seventh partial is the sub-minor seventh of 
the octave which contains the fifth. 
Musically trained observers can ‘ imagine ’ the sound of the 
partial which is to be heard from the whole note. Unmusical 
persons do not know what to listen for ; and it is, therefore, im¬ 
portant that they shall hear the partial by itself (as a clang of 
the same tint as the clang which is to be analysed) before the 
full note is sounded. 
As special factors, influencing the discrimination of partials, 
Stumpf mentions the following. (1) Observation at night-time, 
when the nervous disposition is more favourable. (2) Concen¬ 
tration of attention upon a single ear. (3) Turning of the head, 
alteration of the general bodily position, movement towards or 
away from the source of sound : influences depending upon the 
complicated form of the pinna, or the acoustic properties of the


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