Physicists at the University of New South Wales in Sydney rigged a small microphone that fit over saxophone reeds and was hooked up to a computer.
Five professional saxophonists and three amateur saxophonists played high and low notes while the microphone measured the acoustics inside the players' vocal tract.
None of the players adjusted their vocal tracts to nail the lower notes. But the high notes were a different story.
The pro saxophonists tuned their vocal tracts to match near to the high note they're playing. The amateur players hadn't mastered that technique.
Graduate student Jer Ming Chen and colleagues report their findings in today's edition of Science.
By Miranda Hitti
Reviewed by Louise Chang
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