Re: Why the music is music and the noise is noise? (Biao Tian PhD )

Subject: Re: Why the music is music and the noise is noise?
From:    Biao Tian PhD  <biao(at)GICCS.GEORGETOWN.EDU>
Date:    Tue, 24 Apr 2001 10:34:17 -0400

>Can we build a system which can turn the noise to the music? First the disclaimer: I am not a musician, I don't have any formal music training, and I can't even read the score for we learnt a substitute system denote music back in China. So I can only speak in layman's term about music. ;-) I think to answer the original question you have to define what noise or music is. If you adhere to the acoustic domain, then noise can be defined as a piece of sound filled with random frequencies, and music can be defined as a structured sequence of sounds with different pitches. Depending on the frequency content, you have "white" noise, "pink" noise, etc. Recently, we started to use band-passed noise (BPN) to map the higher areas beyond the primary auditory cortex. Depending on the center frequency and band-width, those BPNs definitely have a defined pitch. And I think some percussion instruments can also fit into that category. So if you put those "noises" into a sequence with rhythm, tempo, etc., I think you can have a piece of "music", though it may not evoke the emotion we desire. Speaking of emotion, we have extended our definition into the socio-psychological domain. Then the question becomes when will someone's pleasance become someone else's annoyance? I think many of you have already made this point. Biao -- Biao Tian PhD Department of Physiology and Biophysics Georgetown Institute for Cognitive and Computational Sciences Georgetown University Medical Center The Research Building WP13 3970 Reservoir Road NW Washington, DC 20007 tel: (202) 687-6438 fax: (202) 687-0617 email: biao(at)

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