Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Experimental Psychology: A Manual of Laboratory Practice, Vol. I: Qualitative Experiments, part 2: Instructor's Manual
Titchener, Edward B.
Auditory Sensation 
room in which the experiments are made. (4) Extension of 
the pinna by the hollowed hand. (5) Choice of tones in the 
four-accented octave : see p. 66 above. — Tonpsychologie, ii., 236. 
On the physics of a sounding string, see Helmholtz, 45 f. A physical 
demonstration may be turned to psychological account, as follows. (1) Pluck 
the string in the middle. The even-numbered partials are suppressed, or at 
least greatly weakened, while the odd-numbered sound ; the clang is hollow 
and nasal. (2) Pluck the string at one-third of its length. The odd-num¬ 
bered partials disappear, and the even-numbered remain ; the clang is still 
thin, but better than before. (3) Pluck the string at one-seventh of its length. 
The first six partials are present ; the clang is full and rich. — Helmholtz, 76 ff. 
If the laboratory does not possess a monochord, recourse may be had to 
a piano or harmonium. Both instruments have upper partials of relatively 
high intensity. It should be noted, however, that the seventh and ninth 
partials are for the most part very weak, or absent, in modern pianos. 
Materials. — The wire of the sonometer should be thin and 
not too tightly stretched. If the instrument is tuned too sharp, 
the higher partials become difficult of recognition. 
Results. — Six observers, chosen without reference to musical 
training, heard the third partial within twenty minutes from the 
beginning of the experiment, and thereafter heard all the partials 
up to and including the seventh. Two, who had had more 
practice in acoustical work, reached the' tenth partial without 
difficulty. In no case did an observer fully recognise any other 
partial than that to which the attention was especially directed 
in the experiment, though the two last mentioned ‘felt’ that 
others were present, and said that they should miss them if 
Helmholtz, using thin strings with loud upper partials, was 
“able to recognise the partials separately, up to the sixteenth.” 
A musically trained observer, whose ear is practised in the dis¬ 
crimination of partials, can hear the intervals and chords formed 
by the lower overtones : thus it is not very difficult to hear the 
two tones e1 — t7b1, when the string is sounding the C. Stumpf, 
Tonpsychologie, ii., 314; Külpe, Outlines of Psychology, 302; 
Ebbinghaus, Psychologie, i., 296. 
Methods of Observing Partial Tones, i. Resonators. — A reso¬ 
nator is a hollow chamber (sphere, cylinder, cone) of glass or


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