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Why is it that, if I zoom into a .pitch file in Praat, the little numbers (pitch candidates) that are displayed are stacked into vertical lines?

  • This seems like a duplicate of your own question linguistics.stackexchange.com/questions/8577/…. Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 17:00
  • But this time I'm asking about why the numbers are stacked horizontally. I tried to keep questions as focused as possible!
    – Teusz
    Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 6:44
  • It would be best just to ask for a little clarification from the answerer in that question.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 11:04
  • How it is different from the original question is unclear as it's worded. You mention vertical lines in the body of the question, and it's not clear what "stacked horizontally" means, and it's not clear if it's a "what" question (seeking to understand the identity of something) or a "why" question (seeking to understand the reason for something). Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 15:06
  • facepalm sorry. mine english be rusty.
    – Teusz
    Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 19:26

1 Answer 1


The vertical "stacks" correspond to frames; in other words, the pitch candidates are stacked vertically because Praat attempts to measure the "pitch" (actually fundamental frequency) at every frame. The horizontal placement of each stack corresponds to the occurrence of each successive frame over time, which is why they are equally spaced. The vertical placement of each candidate in the stack is dictated by its frequency (in Hz), as specified by the frequency axis on the right.

The numbers at the very top are not pitch candidates, but rather measures of relative intensity of the sound in each frame.

You can read more about the display of the PitchEditor on this Praat help page.

  • Thanks. So, is it correct to say that a vertical "stack" consists of several pitch candidates of different frequencies within a given frame. The largely the number of a candidate, the greater the intensity. So, in the example I gave, the most intense candidates formed the fundamental frequency identified by Praat. Is this correct?
    – Teusz
    Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 9:18
  • @mateuz it depends on what you mean by "intensity". The digits at the top of the display (in your image the 5-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-3-3-3-2-2-2-3) express the relative intensity of the overall sound at each frame. The pitch candidate numbers below are measures of "goodness", where how "goodness" is calculated depends on the algorithm Praat is set to use. This is explained on the help page I linked to above: "The number [...] may be the relative height of an autocorrelation peak, a cross-correlation peak, or a spectral peak, depending on the method by which the Pitch object was computed. Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 12:13

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