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The poem

(in verse transformed !)

Tones,   chords,
melodies,   rhythm
Vowels and consonants,
- and the messages we transmit with them

How do these structures emerge
from an entangled acoustic compound ?
Some sounds splitting away from each other
while others remain inextricably bound

Are there identifiable criteria
that guide this organization ?
What features of sound
determine grouping and segregation ?

Is it frequency,  is it intensity ?
Is it a spectro-temporal difference ?
Or a combination of factors
that enable this inference ?

Peripheral channeling
followed by integration
Noting patterns and correlations
that aid "image" formation

The input sorted out,
individual sources defined
Their pitch and timbre and location
abstracted and assigned

But this complacent scenario
is disturbed by what's heard next
A sudden change in meaning
provided by a new context

Dynamic and flexible
ongoing comparisons being made
Simultaneous and sequential
incoming data being weighed

How easily we do it
an ability innate
of a system that copes
with changes of state

Using changes along multiple dimensions as cues
such as the pitch range, the tempo and timbral hues
Ascertain what is to break up, and what is to fuse
What we focus on then,  - our attention may choose

It happens so naturally
yet how difficult it seems
From a motley input
a melody it redeems

and efficiently sifts
and channels into streams
the sounds that once composed
a composer's dreams

The processing operations
can be difficult to elucidate
To measure and to quantify
to model and to validate

But as this conference progresses
and we consolidate information
perhaps we'll have fresh insights
about auditory organization

                                             with respect to all,

                                               Punita G. String
                                                   May, 1993 A.D.