The works of sound

The term Sound variety relates above all to our "outward" experience of sound in all its facets and nuances. For instance, almost everyone can recognize persons known to him without much effort by their voices, identify objects by their sounds (guess the "secret noise"!) or, after some training, make a distinction between different manufacturers of a musical instrument alone by their sounds.

The term Richness of sound, on the other hand, relates to our "inward" experience. How does something feel? Sound is touch: physical, mental and spiritual touch. Richness of sound means the very special quality of this experience which can be perceived only individually. It is possible to collect and systematize this experience by introspection and by statistical acquisition of the statements made by a large number of questioned persons. In this manner a coarse objective image of what richness of sound means is obtained. This can help the psycho-acoustician, who is trained to deal with the inward experience, to control the dynamic process of systematic sound creation better and better. Of course, feeling and intuition play a leading role in this case. Intuitive processes, however, can also be organized and arranged such that they develop their thrust in the direction of the desired targets. Richness of sound is a basic prerequisite to the individual aesthetic experience:

"Human traits differ to the same degree as human imaginations do about the beauty of sounds." Konrad Leonhardt

"Now what are they doing with me? They produce vibration that reaches my ear, vibration that my eardrum passes on to hammer, anvil and stirrup. The latter transfers the vibration to the ear liquid, the fine sloshing and trembling of which is eventually passed on to the acoustic nerve as sensory stimuli. The temporal lobe in my cerebrum sees to it that I consciously register the perceived sound. OK, the same is done by noise from the streets and from my telephone, dozens of times every day.
But suddenly something is happening to me: Shivers run down my spine. After a while I feel the salty taste of the thin flood of tears that, passing my beard, has reached the corners of my mouth. There are goose pimples on my hands. What are they doing with me? They are controlling me. They stir me up, break me up: an old man, a girl of eighteen with a piece of wood in her hands and 120 men in evening dresses, the Berliner Philharmoniker." Emanuel Eckardt in the paper Stern of December 23, 1981 

"This instrument is like a great chamber musician: responsive, strong and flexible. In no other violin have I found such clarity and depth of tone under the ear, and warmth, richness and suppleness at a distance."  Hilary Hahn