Elvira Di Bona

A Comparison between Musical and Ordinary Auditory Scene Analysis

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Aesthetic Experience; Auditory Experience; Musical Experience; Environmental Sounds; Musical Sounds; Auditory Streams; Musical Streams.

In this paper, I will compare the experience of musical sounds to the experience of non-musical sounds (ordinary auditory experience) in order to see whether there are similarities between them which go beyond the mere fact that they are both experiences of sounds. Despite the fact that they differ with regard to emotional and cognitive components - which is something I will take for granted in this work - the comparison will unveil that the two experiences share the basic low-level mechanisms which are responsible for the auditory ability of distinguishing a sound (or a stream of sounds) from another sound (or another stream of sounds), at least in light of Bregman's auditory scene analysis. That happens because primitive grouping, which takes place when we segregate ordinary auditory streams, works in a similar way as when we segregate musical streams, given that the cues and principles of the sequential and the simultaneous integration on which grouping is grounded operate similarly in both contexts. My conclusion is that musical experience and ordinary auditory experience have in common not only the obvious fact that they are constituted by sounds, but also the fact that they take place by virtue of a mechanism which is influenced by the same factors.

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