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Re: Theory of Timbre Perception
I'm not a scientist and not trained in this so others will give you
real answers. For my (electroacoustic composition) classes I work
from the ideas closely related to ASA to help students develop
multi-dimensional hierarchical listening abilities and habits.
The process begins with slowing down sounds without changing their
spectral / frequency characteristics -- now not difficult to
accomplish in software. I used to say the word "music" spread out
over 20 - 30 seconds with high vocal resonance to pick off the
harmonic gliss in the /i/>/u/ transition. The sound 'separated' (or
in ASA the integrated became segregated). Bregman's book and others
cover much of this in some detail.
From my reading, the book focuses more on the "what" happens than the
"how", and I think your question is about theories of how. My
personal model begins with the quantization of time (windows,
multiple levels), and various kinds of spectral templates or masks
which are applied. I try to convince myself that in teaching hearing,
there is little I can do to change how the window is created and
works, but it is possible to teach people new spectral templates.
Sorry to be 'all art' on this.
At 6:24 PM +1000 8/6/07, Chris Share wrote:
As the term psychoacoustics has evolved into perception and
cognition, I would place timbre on the 'cognition' side of this
process, that is, it doesn't exist except as interpreted by the
That's actually what I was interested in. For example, there are
various theories of pitch perception (Place, Timing, Pattern). What
I was asking is, are there any equivalent theories regarding timbre
When you say "the 'cognition' side of this process", where does this begin?