Sound Clip: Shepard Tone by Roger Shepard
This is a classic sound oddity and illusion. Or is it? There are some corrections to this post with much discussion, see below and follow the trail of comments to clarify the inaccuracies.
“It is rumored to be called the “devil’s tone” by the Catholic church. The Shepard tone is a sound consisting of a superposition of sine waves separated by octaves. When played with the base pitch of the tone moving upwards or downwards, it is referred to as the
Shepard Scale. This creates an auditory illusion that continually ascends or descends in pitch, yet which ultimately seems to get no higher or lower.”
Corrections here and below in comments from Brent Williams:
“Baned by the Catholic Church“, about a Shepard-Risset Glissando. This post contained links to certain webpages, but when the post went up (even before it was moderated) the links were missing. Just in case you want to put them up for your readers, here they are:
The original source page for this sound file is here <http://gloumouth1.free.fr/test/paradoxe/index.html>. It is in French.
You can find the Wiki source page here <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:DescenteInfinie.ogg>. This contains a little more info on the sound. This is where I confirmed that the sound is a of synchronised Shepard-Risset glissandi.
Read about http://deutsch.ucsd.edu/psychology/deutsch_research1.php#Introduction.php>. She is currently a Professor at UCSD.here <
All the best, and please continue with your excellent website.