and musical rising two-tone patterns: sound examples
Ernst Dombrowski, Thurid Holzrichter,
Alexander Nowak, Monika Poschmann
Psychology, Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel
In this document we provide
sound material from two experiments on the relation between melody in
speech and melody in music. The experiments deal with two patterns
occurring in German intonation, rise and rise-fall,
which are compared with a particular musical configuration: a set of
rising two-tone patterns comprising thirteen melodic intervals from
unison to octave. A description of the experiments is given in a paper
at the 16th Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Saarbrücken 2007
(Dombrowski, Holzrichter, Münz, Nowak and Poschmann 2007a). We
the poster presented at this conference. The poster was also shown at
the Annual Conference 2007 of the German Society for Music Psychology,
Gießen (Dombrowski, Holzrichter, Münz, Nowak and Poschmann
The work reported here is based
on the idea that speech melody and musical melody may be two sides of
the same thing. However, a structural comparison of melody in speech
and music has to face at least two problems:
If a piece
of melody in speech and a piece of melody in music show the same
contour, this does not mean that they are really same. There may
be a surface similarity and no deep parallel. Among others, this is
because a comparison of contour does not include basic aspects of
musical use of pitch, e.g. pitch relationship, scales, tonality, and
transform intonation contours into musical level pitches inevitably
leads to a loss of contour information. E.g., the gliding phrase-final
rise often occurring in linguistic question patterns is in
with level pitch. The same applies to rise-fall contours where a pitch
peak goes over to a falling movement.
In particular, losses of
contour information apply to the phrase-final features of melodic
courses, i.e. phrase-final pitch movements, boundary tones etc.
Occurring at the end of a melodic phrase, they can invert its global
Losses of contour features in
musical melody can be used to study the relation between melody in
speech and music, because the part of the “lost” contour information
may be taken by other musical features. This is the question of the
present experiments. In the experiments we confront two prosodic
contour types with a series of melodic intervals. The intervals
represent different kinds of musical information: pitch range,
consonance vs. dissonance, melodic (or tonal) function. All three may
contribute to melodic transformation of speech melody into musical
melody vice versa.
In our congress paper we
demonstrate the idea of lost contour information in musical melody with
an example by J. S. Bach -- who is one of the most famous transformers
of speech to music. Sound example 1
is a section from the bass aria No. 24 Eilt, ihr angefochtnen
Seelen ("Come, ye souls whom care oppresses") in Bach’s St
Passion, BWV 245. You hear a set of Wohin ("Where") calls sung
by the choir interacting with the soloist (bars 49 to (?), also cf.
Fig.1). The Wohin calls may be seen as perfect musical
representations of a linguistic question pattern. However, they
stand for different prosodic patterns used in German intonation to
express "question", in particular, rise and rise-fall.
The sound example is taken from
a recording with Robert Holl, bass, the Arnold Schoenberg Chor, Wien,
and the Concentus Musicus (under direction of Nikolaus Harnoncourt;
Teldec 9031748622, 3/1995).
(The sound-example is not yet
available because of copyrights).
Figure 1: The
first triplet of Wohin calls from the bass
aria No. 24 in J. S. Bach’s St John Passion BWV245, bars 49 to 51 (Bach
Sound example 2 and sound example 3 contain the
utterance wohin ("where" or "where to") spoken by a trained
Northern German speaker (ED, the first author). Sound example 2 is a rise,
sound example 3 is a rise-fall. Both contours may be regarded
as possible “prosodic retranslations” of the musical pattern presented
in the Bach example.
The contours begin with a
rising movement towards the accented vowel they are attached to (i.e.
[i] in wohin). But they end with different phrase-final
modifications: further rising vs. falling. The rises are high
rising early valleys in terms of the Kiel Intonation Model (KIM, Kohler
1991a, b). In an autosegmental-metrical representation they are H* or
L* pitch accents with high boundary tones.
The rise-falls are
terminal medial peaks in the Kiel Intonation Model. In an
autosegmental-metrical representation they are H* pitch accents with
low boundary tones (cf. Grice and Baumann 2000).
In our experiments rising
musical two-tone patterns are compared with four disyllabic
Für Sie/sie ("for
Mal sehn ("do you want
to have a look"),
All show an upbeat-downbeat
pattern – like the utterance wohin. The four utterances were,
again, naturally produced by the speaker ED. They are presented in sound example 4. For
each utterance you first hear the rise and then the rise-fall.
example 5 is an item from our experiment 1 (cf.
2). Experiment 1 was an ABX style interval-matching task.
Listeners assessed on a five-point scale whether a rising two-tone
pattern came closer to a prosodic rise or to a rise-fall.
13 musical intervals were examined. For the prosodic patterns the
German disyllabic utterance Für Sie/sie ("for you/her")
2: An item from experiment 1. Noise signal (white
utterance 1, utterance 2 (Für S/sie; rise and
rise-fall vice versa), melodic interval (piano sound), response
pause, noise signal.
Sound example 6 contains a longer
stretch from the same experiment. First you
hear instructions given to the listeners. They are followed by a set of
training items. Then you hear further instructions and the beginning of
the test: non-transposed intervals (in this series the A2 is the
reference for the two-tone patterns). Short signals of white noise are
used as separators between the test items.
example 7 is an item from Experiment 2 (cf. Fig. 3).
Experiment 2 was an ABX style contour-matching task. Listeners
assessed whether a spoken contour fitted a rising fourth or fifth, i.e.
musical patterns with different underlying tonal functions. Four
utterances were used: Für Sie/sie ("for you/her"), Mal
("do you want to have a look"), Wieso ("why"), Warum
3: An item from experiment 2. Noise
interval 1, interval 2 (rising fourth and rising fifth vice versa),
spoken utterance (rise or rise-fall), response pause,
example 8 presents the four training items from experiment
2 preceded by a short instruction.
on the following link
to find our
poster presented at the 16th International Congress of
Phonetic Sciences in Saarbrücken, 2007.
Bach, J. S.
John Passion: BWV 245, Vocal Score (Supplementary edition based on
S. Bach, Neue Ausgabe sämtlicher Werke, II, 4).
Holzrichter, T., Münz, N., Nowak, A., Poschmann, M. (2007). Prosodic rise and rise-fall contours and musical rising
two-tone patterns. Proceedings of the 16th International
Congress of Phonetic Sciences. Saarbrücken, 1145-1148.
Baumann, S. (2000). Deutsche Intonation und GToBI. Linguistische
Berichte, 191, 267-298.
model of German intonation. Arbeitsberichte
des Instituts für Phonetik der Universität Kiel (AIPUK),
Letzte Aktualisierung: 06.09.2007
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