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Re: Musical vs everyday listening
I'd love to get to Utah, but the chances university going along with
that are laughably remote.
I've experimented with sending audio engineering students on
soundwalks. Most come back reporting that they never realised ust how
much they ignore. They also realise within about 30 minutes how
incomplete are the theories of hearing that they have so far
encountered. this kind of "pointless" (i.e. non-urgent) environment
listening seems (to me) much more like musical listening, and it always
amazes the students what fineness of detail can be picked up (e.g.
height of ceilings, room asymmetry, degree of enclosedness, parallel
I've been nibbling away (for 20 years!) at the concept of
"music-as-environment", using ambisonics, WFS, etc. The idea of a piece
of spatial music that one can be inside, and can navigate and explore,
fascinates me - it seems somewhat distinct from the notion of music in
an environment, although the boundary is naturally blurred, i think.
certainly, looping seems to be a powerful tool when it comes to
invoking conscious perception of musicality, which is where we came in
with this discussion. I'm interested in finding minimal stimuli, and it
seems that very long loops embedded in a complex soundscape take a deal
longer to seem 'musical'. One thing that has come up from this
discussion is that it seems likely that once some perception of
musicality has been evoked, it would take a good deal to suppress it.
have to think more about that.
Dr. Peter Lennox
Signal Processing Applications Research Group
University of Derby
Int. tel: 1775
>>> Brian Gygi <bgygi@xxxxxxxxx> 10/01/2007 00:15 >>>
On the record, I generally try to stay away from hypotheses about
mechanisms and try to stick to functional descriptions (off the record
is a different story). In any case, this distinction between "musical"
and "everyday" listening was first formally proposed, as far as I know,
by Bill Gaver in What Do We Hear in the World (1993). His argument was
based almost wholly on intuition. Since then, various researchers
as myself) has been trying to provide empirical evidence for this. If
you are at the spring ASA in Utah (plug time) Valeriy Shafiro and I are
co-chairing a special session on topics in environmental sound research
and that is one of the issues we hope to tackle.
Peter Lennox wrote:
> what you and Brian are implying here is that 'musical listening' is
> substantively different from the kind of listening that has evolved
> the face of normal environmental conditions where survival issues
> naturally take precedence. This places musical listening in a context
> where 'normal' mechanisms have been 'hijacked' for some other use,
> outside of the usual evolutionery pressures - this is Stephen
> position, i think. However, I feel it can't be so black-and-white -
> environments aren't always so urgent (and in any case, being a
> in morocco should awaken one's survival instincts sufficiently to
> suppress any luxurious non-survival-oriented perceptual styles. I
> accept that musical listening might be somewhat analogous to using
> vision to appreciate a 'nice view' where imme3diate threat is
> absent - but the analogy can't be pushed too far; our recreational
> of vision seems somehow less abstract - it's more usually of
> (even if colour is exaggerated) whereas music is the 'thing' in
> with exceptions in both cases, of course.
> Dr. Peter Lennox
> Signal Processing Applications Research Group
> University of Derby
> Int. tel: 1775
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