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... and alittle kerosene ...

Sorry, long posting!

First a word of thanks to all who are contributing and thinking about
this issue.

Following from the current discussion about demonstrations and peer
review, and AH's comments about web-realities, a brief anecdote about the
'grey zone'.

I teach electroacoustics at a university that has only undergraduate
courses in this field. Bregman's ASA has been a major contributor to
discussions in the field of sound art. This year I am running a
pilot-project course for undergraduate Fine Arts students on Auditory
Scene Analysis, and call it the creation of an 'annotated index'.

There are over half-a-dozen students who are reading ASA (on their own)
and are being asked to find the words (and terms) that they think are
significant, and a database will be created giving definitions provided
by the students. The objective is to also be able to include 'sonic
demonstrations' of these terms and concepts drawn from the 'sound art'
(ea/cm) community as well as verbal formulations.

These definitions will be written by (non-science) undergraduate students
for other undergraduate students who will at some time read ASA: the
definitions will also point to _applications_ of these concepts by
electroacoustic composers, in works that have been composed.

This is part of an ongoing attempt to build a real link between the
scientific, psychoacoustic and artistic communities: part of the
development of the (artistic) field of "electroacoustic'ology" (parallel
to 'musicology' eg).

I could see that 'audio demonstrations' could also be included in the
'electroacousticology' ejournal that will become the home of this
database, in which case, the 'research materials' will become available
from sources other than those recognized by the scientific / research
communities. Will this decrease their 'value' because they are not peer
reviewed? Maybe within the scientific / research community, but as noted,
the objective is to build links between "theory" and "creative artistic

ASA has one chapter each on Auditory Organization in Music, and in Speech
Perception. There is much on pp 455-461 that simply begs for specific
sonic examples: and numerous counterexamples. Placing such highly
debatable ideas into an 'open environment' (without the necessity of a
possibly limiting anonymous peer review) could allow other disciplines to
examine the precepts and possible consequences from other perspectives.

There would be no 'anonymous peer' review as such, since much of the work
is about 'perception', which (appears to be) by nature, individual or
statistical. But the case may be able to be made that a number of
conclusions could be drawn regarding the significance of an idea, based
upon how (and if) creative artists have attempted to, or have employed
the idea.

(An example of this is the Shepherd's tone that has an interesting
barbershop pole concept of rising pitch, but in practice has been
employed mostly by one major composer. When trained listener's hear, the
name Risset jumps immediately to mind: it has not been (from my
listening) widely adopted in the electroacoustic compositional field.)

In summary (at last!) I think that there are many (other) ways to
circulate (and evaluate) ideas regarding perception, and that the web
will provide paths for individuals (and groups) that have only been
dreamt of until now.





      Professor K Austin
      EuCuE - Department of Music / Departement de musique
      universite Concordia University
      7141, rue Sherbrooke o
      Montreal, QC  H4B 1R6


tel: (1) 514 - 848 - 4709
FAX: (1) 514 - 848 - 2808

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