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From: LeliaLoban
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 21:41:56 EDT
Subject: [CB] Bass saxes and cat purrs

Dave Spiegelthal wrote,
>    As for the basso profundo purr of Shadow (and other)
>Cats, I remember reading once that scientists still haven't
>figured out how such a small animal can produce such
>low frequencies.  Is this true, or is there a reasonable
>explanation somewhere?

I read the same information years ago (for some reason I connect reading it
with an apartment in Davis, California, which would make it 1970-73), but
I've lost track of author and publication.  According to the article or book
or whatever it was, scientists who attempted to study purring discovered that
the uncomfortable (at best) experiments designed to discover the source of
the purr caused the cats to stop purring.  (Duh.)  The same scientists tried
to determine how intelligent cats are by measuring how long it takes cats to
escape from a closed box with a hidden camera and a door latched on the
inside.  Well, each cat liked that box a lot better than the laboratory.
Each cat in turn curled up in the box and took a nice, long nap.  Typically,
after awakening and stretching and washing, a cat would look around the box,
look at the door, look at the latch, walk over, flip the latch and exit the
box immediately.  The scientists counted the nap time and concluded that cats
are stupider than dogs.  The writer concluded that scientists are stupider
than cats.

Larry de Martin wrote,
>>Vocal chords are also Aeolian resonators,
>>unlike cars they have a defined frequency from the
>>tightness of the chord and regulated air flow.
>>There is no limit to the bass frequency produced by
>>a small source, just a limit on the power.  Throttled
>>air sources - sirens, wind and organ are
>>among the most efficient sound generators.
>>Humans can train to put out a lot of low frequency,
>>like the monks of the Drepung Loseling Monestery.
>>They have several recordings replete with dongchen
>>(tibetan long horns) that document that power.
>>Perhaps they learned this vocal technique from the
>>sacred snow lions.

The throat-singers from Tuva do something  that sounds similar to what Shadow
Cat does when she lays in a high-pitched trill on top of her rumbling
low-pitched purr.  The Tuvans keep a very low drone going, underneath their
higher tones.  I wonder if cats use a similar mechanism.  Seems to me I read
a more recent study saying something about cats vibrating membranes to make
the purr.  Wish I could remember what membranes, where.

How (if at all) does the Aeolian resonator relate to snoring?
Brrrrrraaaaap....wheeeeeee.  Brrrrronnnnnk.....wheeeeeooooo.  Sometimes heavy
snorers even vocalize in double-stops (multiphonics) that sound eerily
similar to throat-singing or trill-purring, with a similar combination of
rattling low pitch and very high pitch.  Snoring has something to do with
tonsils, adenoids, soft palate and all that flappy-floppy membrane stuff in
the throat and nose, doesn't it?


Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 13:13:13 -0666
From: Shadow Cat <>
Subject: Re: [CB] Contrabass cats and cars

I'm making my stupid pet human type this.  All that silliness about sneaking
a message past me a couple of days ago was so unnecessary.  I don't have
anything to hide.  I was only trying to protect her from making a fool of
herself, because her idea that cats somehow use purring as some sort of
secret communication code is so absurd.  It's a typical ape-related primate
conspiracy theory.  Secret code?  Oh, please, spare me the comic book
scenario.  Cats only purr because it's a nice, soothing sound and we enjoy
listening to it.  It's sort of like elevator music.  I could explain how we
do it, but it really wouldn't interest you at all and you wouldn't understand
it.  Purring is purrfectly harmless.  Nothing for you to worry your big, hard
heads about.  Nothing at all.  Really.  Would I lie to you?  Sweet little me?
 So pet your cat and listen to the nice purring and relax.  Nice, nice
purrrrrring....  That's right, just relaaaaaaxxxx.

Shadow Cat.

Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 10:46:54 -0700
From: Grant Green
Subject: Re: [CB] Contrabass cats and cars

Craig inquired:
>By the way, Grant, I visited the Contrabass page recently and
>noticed some pictures seem to have been added to the gallery.
>I checked out the bass harp - awesome! I'm not surprised that it
>doesn't draw - those reeds must be huge! Who would think E1
>would come from something that compact. What are the
>overall dimensions, anyway?

After a few seconds with the tape measure: about 8-3/4" wide, by
3-5/8" tall (across the back), by about 2-3/8" deep (front to back).
Pretty compact for a string bass's low E... :-)


Grant Green       
Professional Fool  ->
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