Type of Document Dissertation Author MacLeod, Rebecca Bowman URN etd-05082006-134732 Title Influences of Dynamic Level and Pitch Height on the Vibrato Rates and Widths of Violin and Viola Players Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Music, College of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title John Geringer Committee Chair Clifford Madsen Committee Member Michael Allen Committee Member Richard Morris Committee Member Keywords
- Effect of Range
- Effect of Pitch Height
Date of Defense 2006-04-26 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe purpose of this study was to investigate possible influences of pitch height and dynamic level on vibrato rates and widths of university and high school violin and viola players. Forty-eight musicians (12 each of university violin, high school violin, university viola, and high school viola students) were recorded individually performing: a scale passage in low and high pitch registers, a musical excerpt in low and high pitch registers, a scale passage performed with piano and forte dynamic levels, and a musical excerpt performed with piano and forte dynamic levels.
Analysis showed that pitch height significantly affected the vibrato rates and widths of the performers. Musicians vibrated .32 Hz faster and approximately 26 cents wider during high tones than during low tones. Dynamic level also significantly affected vibrato width. Performers increased vibrato width approximately 4 cents in the forte passages compared to the piano passages. In the scale passages, an increase in dynamic level corresponded to an increase in vibrato rate, but this increase in rate was not present during the musical excerpts.
Violinists demonstrated a tendency to vibrate slightly faster and wider than violists. A significant interaction occurred between instrument type and pitch height for vibrato width. In the high pitch register, violinists vibrated 13 cents wider than did violists. No significant differences were found between the vibrato rates of high school and university performers, however a significant difference was found between the high school and university performers’ vibrato widths during the piano and forte passages. University performers varied their vibrato width to a greater extent between the piano and forte passages (5 cents) than did the high school performers (2 cents). In the low register musical excerpts, musicians vibrated significantly faster (.26 Hz) than in the low register scale passages. University musicians produced a significantly wider vibrato in the musical excerpts compared to the scale passages (6 cents), while high school musicians’ widths did not differ between the two.
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