A calibrated recording and analysis of the pitch, force and quality of vocal tones expressing happiness and sadness; and a determination of the pitch and force of the subjective concepts of ordinary, soft and loud tones

Article · January 1935with18 Reads
DOI: 10.1080/03637753509374833


    9males and 10 females were asked to repeat the vowel
    ah immediately after reading a piece of literature and listening to phonographic recordings of music judged by "experts" as indicating sadness and happiness. Oscillographic records of the vowels were made and analyzed. Results showed that the vocal responses to stimuli which evoke happiness are appreciably higher in pitch than the ordinary tones of the same subjects and higher than tones representative of sad states. This difference was found to be significant in both sexes. The average tones in response to literature or music judged as sad are practically the same as that of the subjects' ordinary tones. Differences in intensity and in tone quality were also observed for the two emotional states. Psychogalvanic readings taken during the experiment showed the presence of disturbances of an emotional nature. A second experiment to determine the subjects' conception of ordinary, soft, and loud tones showed that pitch changes with the intensity of the tones. Soft tones are lower in pitch than those designated as ordinary, and loud tones are invariably higher in pitch than either. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)