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Re: multidimensional scaling of timbre
Timbre is an artistic term, so the subjective assessment of timbre will
depend on how the experimenter defines timbre and selects the stimuli. It
is somewhat like a tautology to define the timbres as stimuli and then
claim that the perception of these timbres shows that this is the
structure of timbre. Dr. Terasawa's work is a path to resolving these
types of issues.
In the area of subjective assessment of telephone speech quality, the
Dynastat company found about 10 dimensions, including "background" and
I would find it counterintuitive from a musical point of view to think
that there could be only two dimensions in perceiving the sound qualities
in music. That wouldn't represent how composers think about orchestration
or electronic music or how performers (such as singers) think about the
effects they can produce.