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Re: sex differences in perception of environmental sounds
There seem to be several themes here -
I believe the distinction between natural sounds and artificial sounds is generally
the same as sounds which are interpreted as events and those which are not.
Musical instruments generally fall in the "natural" category because we imagine the activity
of instruments being played. Some performance pieces, notably pieces for prepared piano by
John Cage, intentionally cross this boundary. The audience is watching a familiar sound producing
event which produces sounds that do not evoke an associative event in memory. Some, like those
by Karl Stockhausen use natural sound events which trigger memories only in a specific groups -
and crosses perceptual and cultural boundaries. Shortwave radio static becomes a "natural sound"
when the radio is evident onstage and comfort music to those for whom shortwave radio has been
an illegal connection with the outside world.
An interesting caveat is echo (room reverberations) being much more noticeable when played
back on a recording (in a different acoustic environment). This is a natural sound - sound
quality - which becomes synthetic by reproduction.
What about tape hiss - natural sound event? What about tight symphonic harmonies in Beethoven
which make it impossible to tell which instruments are playing? Natural synthetic?
So - my point, finally - perception is fractal. Categorical descriptions might be better investigated and
discussed with reference to the limits of possibility. Without some reference we are just mucking about.
ie. Do people hear elephants differently If they wear red shirts?