PREVIOUS STUDIES ON VIBRATO PITCH HAVE attempted to determine the "principal pitch" of vibrato tones and not the range of tuning for such tones in a melodic context. This study investigates the range of acceptable tuning (RAT) for tones with and without vibrato, using repeating ascending and descending three-tone arpeggios. The second tone in each sequence was modulated or unmodulated with an initial pitch that was flat or sharp. With each repetition the pitch of the second tone increased or decreased by 3 cents depending upon the initial pitch condition. Participants indicated when they perceived the second tone to be in tune and out of tune. The RAT for vibrato tones was approximately 10 cents greater than for unmodulated tones. This is largely due to the lower RAT limit, indicating that the carrier frequency of vibrato tones can be 10 cents flatter than the fundamental frequency of an unmodulated tone.
In the United Kingdom, it is increasingly common to find girls in English cathedral choirs, and some appear to wonder whether they can perform this traditionally male role appropriately. We report results from a perceptual experiment designed to establish whether or not listeners can correctly identify trained girl and boy English cathedral choristers when they are singing the top lines in samples of professionally recorded sacred choral music from one cathedral choir. In the experiment, the lower three parts (alto, tenor, and bass), the musical director, and the acoustic environment remained constant. Results suggest that listeners can identify the sex of the choristers singing the top line with an average accuracy of approximately 60%%, but the results also suggest that musical context plays an important part in this perceptual ability. In addition, boys are accurately identified more often than girls, and adult listeners can discriminate between the two more reliably than child listeners.