EMS Proceedings and Other Publications

Auditory scene analysis and sound source coherence as a frame for the perceptual study of electroacoustic music language

Blas Payri

Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain


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This paper proposes a method for the perceptual study of sound language and sound material in electroacoustic music based on ASA (auditory scene analysis), using contextual listening and sound source coherence as the main perceptual task. Claiming that out-of-context listening of sounds to describe their features - either timbre or morphological features – is not sufficient to understand their musical value, the paper proposes to combine it with contextual listening. The research paradigm is ASA, using the notions of stream segregation and abstract source coherence perception. The acousmographe is a sufficient tool for ASA based analysis of musical sequences, and the experiments can combine a top-down approach (understanding the features perceived in preexisting musical works) and a bottom-up approach – creating musical sequences where features vary in a controlled way. This allows a real musical listening that can be compared with non contextual listening to understand which features really are musically salient.