There’s more to timbre than musical instruments: a meta-analysis of timbre semantics in singing voice quality perception

  1. Johanna Devaney

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Imagine listening to the famous soprano Maria Callas (1923–1977) singing the aria “Vissi d’arte” from Puccini’s Tosca. How would you describe the quality of her voice? When describing the timbre of musical sounds, listeners use descriptions such as bright, heavy, round, and rough, among others. In 1890, Stumpf theorized that this diverse vocabulary can be summarized, on the basis of semantic proxi...


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