Some of the material in is restricted to members of the community. By logging in, you may be able to gain additional access to certain collections or items. If you have questions about access or logging in, please use the form on the Contact Page.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the rates, widths, and pitches of university double bass players' vibrato in relation to pitch height, fingers used, and tempo. Forty (N = 40) undergraduate and graduate double bass players were individually recorded performing three music exercises that were used for analyses. Each exercise was comprised of three identical excerpts that were transposed for first, fourth, and thumb positions. Excerpts in first and fourth positions utilized fingers 1, 2, and 4, while excerpts in thumb position utilized fingers 1, 2, and 3. The overall mean vibrato rate and width of university double bass students in this study was 5.17 Hz and 19 cents. A comparison of the vibrato rates and widths of participants' 1st and 2nd fingers revealed that the 2nd finger (5.22 Hz, 21 cents) used both significantly faster and wider vibrato than the 1st finger (5.07 Hz, 18 cents). Additionally, the descriptive data from this study revealed that the 3rd and 4th fingers vibrated faster than both the 1st and 2nd fingers, and they had a wider vibrato width than the 1st finger, but a narrower width than the 2nd finger. The 3rd finger had the overall fastest recorded vibrato rate for any finger in any position. Analysis of vibrato data also indicated that university double bassists use significantly faster vibrato rates as they perform in progressively higher registers. When comparing the combined mean vibrato rates of the 1st and 2nd fingers, participants vibrated at 4.88 Hz in first position, 5.06 Hz in fourth position, and 5.50 Hz in thumb position. Vibrato widths also increased with pitch register. Mean vibrato widths in first position (16 cents) were significantly narrower than mean vibrato widths in both fourth position (21 cents) and thumb position (22 cents). Tempo also significantly affected mean vibrato rates and width. Musical examples played with a fast tempo were faster and wider (5.35 Hz, 20 cents) than musical examples played with a slow tempo (4.94 Hz, 19 cents). Additionally, analysis indicated that university double bassists vibrate almost equally above and below the in-tune pitch. Using the descriptive data for all fingers in all position, the total difference found between mean pitches of vibrated and non-vibrated tones was 1 cent. Music educators can use these results to create more consistent descriptions of double bass vibrato, and potentially, more efficient methods for teaching vibrato.
Double Bass, Orchestra, String Instrument, String Music Education, Tempo, Vibrato
Date of Defense
March 13, 2012.
A Dissertation submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Alice-Ann Darrow, Professor Directing Dissertation; Melanie Punter, University Representative; John Geringer, Committee Member; Steven Kelly, Committee Member.
Florida State University
Use and Reproduction
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s). The copyright in theses and dissertations completed at Florida State University is held by the students who author them.