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科学美国人60秒: 独唱以获得更高的保真度

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Ever noticed how when a big group sings Happy Birthday, the beginning is a jumbled mess, with everyone singing a slightly different pitch? But then, near the end, it all sort of comes together?That's because we tend to adjust our own singing pitch to accommodate others. And now scientists in the U.K. have found that even trained choral singers will follow their fellow choir members. But not necessarily in the right direction.

<生日歌剪辑>曾经注意到,当一个大团体唱生日快乐歌时,开头是一片混乱,每个人唱的音调都略有不同。但是,在接近尾声的时候,这一切都走到了一起?那是因为我们倾向于调整自己的歌唱音调来适应他人。现在,英国科学家发现,即使是受过训练的合唱演员也会跟随他们的唱诗班成员。但不一定是在正确的方向。

The researchers had eight pairs of musically trained amateur singers—all women for this study—to sing, a capella, the melody of either Silent Night or another classic choir tune, O Sacred Head, Now Wounded.

研究人员让八对受过音乐训练的业余歌手——所有参加这项研究的女性——演唱无伴奏合唱,这是《平安夜》(Silent Night )或另一首经典唱诗班歌曲《噢,神圣的头》(O Sacred Head)的旋律

Individual volunteers all sang in their own separate studios, under four different scenarios: each singer was completely isolated, hearing only themselves; or singer one got to hear singer two ; or singer two got to hear singer one ; or finally, both singers could hear each other . Then the researchers used software to extract pitch information from the recordings.

每个志愿者都在自己独立的录音室里唱歌,在四种不同的场景下:每个歌手都是完全孤立的,只能听到他们自己的声音;或者歌手一听到歌手二<左耳独奏>;或者歌手二听到歌手一<右耳独奏>;最后,两位歌手都能听到对方的声音。然后研究人员使用软件从录音中提取音调信息。

What they found was that singers stayed more on tune with the pitch written in the musical score when singing solo, versus singing with a partner. And when one partner veered off pitch, the other singer followed her, perhaps to compensate for the error—meaning even though they weren’t singing the pitch as written, the resulting duet was more harmonious. The findings are in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. [Jiajie Dai and Simon Dixon, Singing together: Pitch accuracy and interaction in unaccompanied unison and duet singing]

他们发现,与与同伴合唱相比,歌手在独自演唱时更能与乐谱上的音高保持一致。当一个搭档偏离音高时,另一个歌手跟着她,也许是为了弥补这个错误——意思是,即使他们唱的音高不像所写的那样,结果的二重唱更加和谐。研究结果发表在《美国声学学会杂志》上

The results support a common practice in choirs: put weak singers next to strong ones, so they can follow their pitch. As for the rest of us amateurs, if you find yourself out at karaoke duetting with an off-pitch friend, take this advice from study author Jiajie Dai of Queen Mary University of London: "You have to listen to yourself more than you listen to others. Trust yourself, never depend on others." This guideline appears to be the key…to staying on key.

研究结果支持了唱诗班的一种常见做法:把弱歌手放在强歌手旁边,这样他们就能跟着自己的音高走。对于我们这些业余爱好者来说,如果你发现自己和一个场外的朋友一起去卡拉ok二重唱,请采纳这项研究的作者、伦敦玛丽女王大学的戴嘉杰的建议:“你必须更多地倾听自己,而不是别人。”相信自己,永远不要依赖别人。”这条指导方针似乎是……保持重点的关键。

Ever noticed how when a big group sings Happy Birthday, the beginning is a jumbled mess, with everyone singing a slightly different pitch? But then, near the end, it all sort of comes together?That's because we tend to adjust our own singing pitch to accommodate others. And now scientists in the U.K. have found that even trained choral singers will follow their fellow choir members. But not necessarily in the right direction.

The researchers had eight pairs of musically trained amateur singers—all women for this study—to sing, a capella, the melody of either Silent Night or another classic choir tune, O Sacred Head, Now Wounded.

Individual volunteers all sang in their own separate studios, under four different scenarios: each singer was completely isolated, hearing only themselves; or singer one got to hear singer two ; or singer two got to hear singer one ; or finally, both singers could hear each other . Then the researchers used software to extract pitch information from the recordings.

What they found was that singers stayed more on tune with the pitch written in the musical score when singing solo, versus singing with a partner. And when one partner veered off pitch, the other singer followed her, perhaps to compensate for the error—meaning even though they weren’t singing the pitch as written, the resulting duet was more harmonious. The findings are in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.

The results support a common practice in choirs: put weak singers next to strong ones, so they can follow their pitch. As for the rest of us amateurs, if you find yourself out at karaoke duetting with an off-pitch friend, take this advice from study author Jiajie Dai of Queen Mary University of London: "You have to listen to yourself more than you listen to others. Trust yourself, never depend on others." This guideline appears to be the key…to staying on key.


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