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Timbre Solfege: Development of Auditory Cues for the Identification of Spectral Characteristics of Sound

This paper is concerned with listening exercises conducted during a technical ear training course called Timbre Solfege, taught to the students of sound engineering at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. Discussed are auditory cues used for identification of the characteristics of timbre produced by varying the sound frequency bandwidth and by boosting of selective frequency bands with the use of a spectrum equalizer. The students’ ability of identifying those modifications of the spectrum envelope has been assessed in a variety of progress tests. Results of the tests show that systematic training during the Timbre Solfege course considerably improves memory for timbre and develops the ability of associating the perceived characteristics of timbre with the spectral properties of sounds.

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