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If two TONEs are about 15 Hertz or less apart, INTERFERENCE will result from their similar though not exactly identical frequencies. Gradually they will move out of PHASE until at 180° destructive interference results, producing diminished loudness. When they move back into phase, constructive interference will produce increased loudness. Thus, beats are a form of AMPLITUDE MODULATION. As two frequencies are brought closer together, the beats will gradually slow down and disappear when they become identical.
Timbre or tone QUALITY is determined by the behaviour in time of the FREQUENCY content or SPECTRUM of a sound, including its TRANSIENTs which are extremely important for the identification of timbre.
The psychological measure of the magnitude of a SOUND or SOUND OBJECT including its SPECTRUM (frequency and intensity), harmonic content, duration and spatial properties.
The study of the relationship between physical SOUNDs and the brain's interpretation of them. Until recently, psychoacoustics has devoted more attention to the behaviour of the peripheral auditory system than to the details of cognitive processing.