Pitch and Sonification (Gregory Kramer )

Subject: Pitch and Sonification
From:    Gregory Kramer  <70312.265(at)COMPUSERVE.COM>
Date:    Thu, 30 Sep 1993 09:08:20 EDT

From: Gregory Kramer I am often asked, when I speak about auditory display in general and sonification (data controlled sound for purposes of monitoring and analysis), how the non-linear perceptions of pitch, pitch ambiguities, and so on, effect its usefulness as a display variable. For most sonifications, absolute values are not an issue, _relationships_ and _trends_ are. As such, the subtlety of the perceptual ambiguities is usually absorbed, I think, by display ambiguities. This is not true, I suspect, for all tasks. Our acute perception of pitch, or its wide range, or its surfeit of JND's, or however you may care to think of it, makes it an excellent display medium for minute variations. In some cases it may important to design a display to accomodate (via data scaling, or whatever) for frequency to perceived pitch nonlinearities. I bring this up in the context of this discussion to point out that much of the knowledge gained in the cited research has an emerging application, sonification, in addition to that most often mentioned, ie. music. Gregory Kramer Clarity/Santa Fe Institute Nelson Lane Garrison, NY 10524 914-424-4071 fax: 914-424-3467 email: kramer(at)santafe.edu

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