Identity ... (KEVIN AUSTIN )

Subject: Identity ...
Date:    Tue, 13 Oct 1998 07:12:01 -0400

>Pierre Divenyi wrote: >>I would venture pointing out that (as they have shown) identification >>and discrimination >>can be regarded as esentially identical processes. Dan Tollin wrote: >This is correct as detection and discrimination are simply special cases of >identification where the number of stimuli is two. Sorry to be so thick on this one, but are they two essentialy identical processes or are they the same process (both special cases of one process) -- identification? I apologize that to the scientific mind this may seem a non-question, but when applied to teaching (intervals, or even auditory scene analysis in electroacoustic music), the pedagogical approach could be different, depending upon whether these are thought of as points on a continuum, or two different, but identical processes. Siamese twins and identical (MZ) twins come to mind as a visual analogy to the difference. In terms of the development of a vocabulary for the description / analysis of electroacoustic (music) [possibly very similar to ASA], this is (in my experience) not a trivial matter. Identification follows discrimination (in many circumstances), and frequently informs it. A case that I have found is that of hearing harmonic partials in the singing voice. Many first and second year (music) students who have not worked in electroacoustics do not perceive (report discriminating) resonated partials in a highly nasalized sung sound (like /i/ - /e/ - /u/), but identify the 'vowels' (trithong). They identify (with a label) the 'vowel', but do not segregate the resonated partial. (The sound is similar to that found in David Hykes 'Harmonic Choir', Tibetan chant, or Tuvim resonated singing.) A most enlightening thread for an electroacoustic (music) teacher. Thanks Best Kevin kaustin(at) McGill is running a new version of LISTSERV (1.8d on Windows NT). Information is available on the WEB at

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Electrical Engineering Dept., Columbia University