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Re: Why the music is music and the noise is noise?

Can we build a system which can turn the noise to the music?
First the disclaimer: I am not a musician, I don't have any formal
music training, and I can't even read the score for we learnt a
substitute system denote music back in China. So I can only speak in
layman's term about music. ;-)

I think to answer the original question you have to define what noise
or music is. If you adhere to the acoustic domain, then noise can be
defined as a piece of sound filled with random frequencies, and music
can be defined as a structured sequence of sounds with different
pitches. Depending on the frequency content, you have "white" noise,
"pink" noise, etc. Recently, we started to use band-passed noise
(BPN) to map the higher areas beyond the primary auditory cortex.
Depending on the center frequency and band-width, those BPNs
definitely have a defined pitch. And I think some percussion
instruments can also fit into that category. So if you put those
"noises" into a sequence with rhythm, tempo, etc., I think you can
have a piece of "music", though it may not evoke the emotion we

Speaking of emotion, we have extended our definition into the
socio-psychological domain. Then the question becomes when will
someone's pleasance become someone else's annoyance? I think many of
you have already made this point.


Biao Tian PhD
Department of Physiology and Biophysics
Georgetown Institute for Cognitive and Computational Sciences
Georgetown University Medical Center
The Research Building WP13
3970 Reservoir Road NW
Washington, DC 20007
tel: (202) 687-6438
fax: (202) 687-0617
email: biao@giccs.georgetown.edu