Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Titel:
Sound and Music. A Non-Mathematical Treatise on the Physical Constitution of Musical Sounds and Harmony
Person:
Taylor, Sedley
PURL:
https://digitalesammlungen.uni-weimar.de/viewer/image/lit38360/69/
58 
LIMITS OF MUSICAL SOUNDS. [II. § 20. 
per second, the lowest note of the double-bass, that 
we get a satisfactory musical sound. There is no 
corresponding limit absolutely barring the scale of 
pitch in the opposite direction, but sounds above a 
certain degree of acuteness become painful to the ear, 
and therefore unfit for musical purposes. The highest 
note of the piccolo, the shrillest sound heard in the 
orchestra, makes 4752 vibrations per second. And 
this we may regard as constituting a practical 
superior limit to the scale of pitch at the disposal 
of musical art. The extremest range attainable by 
exceptional human voices, from the deepest note of a 
bass to the highest of a soprano, lies, roughly speak¬ 
ing, between 50 and 1500 vibrations per second. 
Ordinary chorus voices range from 100 to 900, or 
1000 vibrations per second. The number of sounds 
within the limits of the musical scale, which can be 
recognized as possessing distinct degrees of pitch, 
will vary -with the acuteness of perception of in¬ 
dividual observers. Trained violinists are said to be 
able to distinguish about seven hundred sounds in a 
single octave, which would give nearly five thousand 
for the whole scale. But, since the difficulty of fix¬ 
ing the pitch with accuracy increases very rapidly 
with very low or very high sounds, this estimate 
would probably much exceed the limits of what 
could be achieved by the very finest ear. We shall,
        

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