Aural Perception: Scientific Reasoning

Topics: Sound, Ear, Music Pages: 3 (986 words) Published: October 29, 2007
Aural Perception

While reading the selection on sound perception, it became very clear to me that every aspect of music and aural skills is completely reinforced in scientific reasoning. The aspects presented in terms of volume, harmonics, tones, and sound quality all come together to scientifically form music. However, my initial reaction was that aural perception in the study of music is hardly studiable scientifically, and none of the material presented in the article is directly related to a person's ability to more affectively develop aural perception. After reading the selection, I understand that it is extremely valuable to comprehend the science behind the field of music in order to better understand the fundamentals that make up the sounds that we hear as music everyday.

The first category in which sound is classified within the excerpt is pitch. Determination of pitch in music is perhaps the most valuable aspect one can obtain when developing aural perception. However, one rarely focuses on the scientific aspects related to pitch. It is easy to hear for most musicians when the pitch in music is ascending, descending, or staying the same. In scientific terms, the pitch of a note is determined by its frequency and intensity. Frequency is the most important aspect when determining pitch. The higher the frequency of a sound, the higher the pitch, and vice versa. Intensity, which also can affect the pitch, affects more the tone of a note. However, a raised intensity of a note can alter a pitch, but is probably more attributed to the inner-workings of the ear. In sum, the basic scientific principles of pitch as relatable to aural perception do not help us determine pitch, but merely give us a way of explaining why pitches sound the way they do. I would be more interested in knowing the science behind extreme pitch identification in aural perception such as "perfect pitch" and how some people can aurally identify absolute pitches when...
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