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Perception of timbral analogies.
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1992 Jun 29; 336(1278):383-9.PT

Abstract

Recent studies have investigated the structure of perceptual relations among musical instrument timbres by multidimensional scaling (MDS) techniques. These studies have employed both acoustically produced tones and digitally synthesized imitations and hybrids of acoustic instrument tones. The analyses of dissimilarity ratings for all pairs of a set of tones are usually represented as geometrical structures in a two- or three-dimensional Euclidean space in which the shared 'perceptual' axes are shown to have a qualitative correspondence to acoustic properties such as spectral energy distribution, onset characteristics and degree of change in spectral distribution over the duration of the tone. The present study took as a point of departure a MDS analysis for complex, synthetic tones with the aim of testing whether musician and non-musician listeners used the relations defined by the perceptual space to perform an analogies task of the sort: timbre A is to timbre B as timbre C is to which of two possible timbres, D or D'? A parallelogram model was used to select the D timbres: if the relation between A and B is represented as a vector with both magnitude and direction components, then the appropriate D should form a vector with C having similar magnitude and direction in the timbre space. Aside from conceptual difficulties with the task for both non-musicians and composers, choices for both groups provide support for the parallelogram model indicating a capacity in listeners to perceive abstract relations among the timbres of complex sounds without specific training in such a task.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Laboratoire de Psychologie Expérimentale (CNRS URA 316), Université René Descartes, Paris, France.No affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

1354378

Citation

McAdams, S, and J C. Cunible. "Perception of Timbral Analogies." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, vol. 336, no. 1278, 1992, pp. 383-9.
McAdams S, Cunible JC. Perception of timbral analogies. Philos Trans R Soc Lond, B, Biol Sci. 1992;336(1278):383-9.
McAdams, S., & Cunible, J. C. (1992). Perception of timbral analogies. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 336(1278), 383-9.
McAdams S, Cunible JC. Perception of Timbral Analogies. Philos Trans R Soc Lond, B, Biol Sci. 1992 Jun 29;336(1278):383-9. PubMed PMID: 1354378.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Perception of timbral analogies. AU - McAdams,S, AU - Cunible,J C, PY - 1992/6/29/pubmed PY - 1992/6/29/medline PY - 1992/6/29/entrez SP - 383 EP - 9 JF - Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences JO - Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., B, Biol. Sci. VL - 336 IS - 1278 N2 - Recent studies have investigated the structure of perceptual relations among musical instrument timbres by multidimensional scaling (MDS) techniques. These studies have employed both acoustically produced tones and digitally synthesized imitations and hybrids of acoustic instrument tones. The analyses of dissimilarity ratings for all pairs of a set of tones are usually represented as geometrical structures in a two- or three-dimensional Euclidean space in which the shared 'perceptual' axes are shown to have a qualitative correspondence to acoustic properties such as spectral energy distribution, onset characteristics and degree of change in spectral distribution over the duration of the tone. The present study took as a point of departure a MDS analysis for complex, synthetic tones with the aim of testing whether musician and non-musician listeners used the relations defined by the perceptual space to perform an analogies task of the sort: timbre A is to timbre B as timbre C is to which of two possible timbres, D or D'? A parallelogram model was used to select the D timbres: if the relation between A and B is represented as a vector with both magnitude and direction components, then the appropriate D should form a vector with C having similar magnitude and direction in the timbre space. Aside from conceptual difficulties with the task for both non-musicians and composers, choices for both groups provide support for the parallelogram model indicating a capacity in listeners to perceive abstract relations among the timbres of complex sounds without specific training in such a task. SN - 0962-8436 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/1354378/Perception_of_timbral_analogies_ L2 - https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rstb.1992.0072?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -