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The vibrato in Indian music

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In actual music, the frequency and amplitude of tones are never perfectly steady. The tone is always varying its frequency round a mean value; this mean value may be taken to be the scale value of the tone. The variations from the mean, when they are regular, are generally known as “vibrato”. The most crucial and significant point about the vibrato is that it is not perceived consciously.

The present experiment was performed with the view to determine the nature and extent of the vibrato in the gamakas of Indian music. From the preliminary finding of this pilot experiment the very interesting result issued: there is no vibrato in Indian music. Detailed discussion is given to the effect that the lack of vibrato in Indian music may be due to the finer pitch requirements in that music; hence gamakas bear the burden of the unconscious forces and the vibrato is ruled out as unpleasant. It is possible, however, that the gamaka called kampan may be a vibrato.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1959

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  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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