Date of Award

Fall 12-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Engineering and Applied Science



Major Professor

George E. Ioup

Second Advisor

Juliette W. Ioup

Third Advisor

Huimin Chen

Fourth Advisor

James May

Fifth Advisor

Ioannis Georgiou


Digitized acoustical signals of Byzantine music performed by Iakovos Nafpliotis are used to extract the fundamental frequency of each note of the diatonic scale. These empirical results are then contrasted to the theoretical suggestions and previous empirical findings. Several parametric and non-parametric spectral parameter estimation methods are implemented. These include: (1) Phase vocoder method, (2) McAulay-Quatieri method, (3) Levinson-Durbin algorithm,(4) YIN, (5) Quinn & Fernandes Estimator, (6) Pisarenko Frequency Estimator, (7) MUltiple SIgnal Characterization (MUSIC) algorithm, (8) Periodogram method, (9) Quinn & Fernandes Filtered Periodogram, (10) Rife & Vincent Estimator, and (11) the Fourier transform. Algorithm performance was very precise. The psychophysical aspect of human pitch discrimination is explored. The results of eight (8) psychoacoustical experiments were used to determine the aural just noticeable difference (jnd) in pitch and deduce patterns utilized to customize acceptable performable pitch deviation to the application at hand. These customizations [Acceptable Performance Difference (a new measure of frequency differential acceptability), Perceptual Confidence Intervals (a new concept of confidence intervals based on psychophysical experiment rather than statistics of performance data), and one based purely on music-theoretical asymphony] are proposed, discussed, and used in interpretation of results. The results suggest that Nafpliotis' intervals are closer to just intonation than Byzantine theory (with minor exceptions), something not generally found in Thrasivoulos Stanitsas' data. Nafpliotis' perfect fifth is identical to the just intonation, even though he overstretches his octaveby fifteen (15)cents. His perfect fourth is also more just, as opposed to Stanitsas' fourth which is directionally opposite. Stanitsas' tendency to exaggerate the major third interval A4-F4 is still seen in Nafpliotis, but curbed. This is the only noteworthy departure from just intonation, with Nafpliotis being exactly Chrysanthian (the most exaggerated theoretical suggestion of all) and Stanitsas overstretching it even more than Nafpliotis and Chrysanth. Nafpliotis ascends in the second tetrachord more robustly diatonically than Stanitsas. The results are reported and interpreted within the framework of Acceptable Performance Differences.


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