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multidimensional scaling of timbre

Interesting topic.

When I introduce this, I only use one example, Kontakte of Stockhausen. My experience here is that the number of dimensions required for discrimination / categorization grows with repeated hearing. The dimensions are not elements of the sounds, but of the hearer. I have met people who have a single dimension for the piece, (1) noise.

In discussions, for example in spectromorphology, the idea of a "sonic object" begins to be challenged, for few sounds have constancy; their identity, in my experience, being established by the depth of the listener's perception, and experience. As was once said, "Perception you see, is a cultural phenomenon." In my experience, the idea of modular dimensional hearing may be useful for the "general population", but for some composers who work _with_ sound, the [simple] modularization (frequency, amplitude, spectrum) is not descriptively useful.

Turn off the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0h0ApJAeSg
This excerpt is from the middle of the mixed version.