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Laughter is a universal human response to emotional stimuli. Though the production mechanism of laughter may seem crude when compared to other modes of vocalization such as speech and singing, the resulting auditory signal is nonetheless expressive. That is, laughter triggered by different social and emotional contexts is characterized by distinctiveness in auditory features that implicate certain state and attitude of the laughing person. By implementing prototypes for interactive laughter synthesis and conducting crowdsourced experiments on the synthesized laughter stimuli, this dissertation investigates acoustic features of laughter expressions, and how they may give rise to emotional meaning. The first part of the dissertation (Chapter 3) provides a new approach for interactive laughter synthesis that prioritizes expressiveness. Our synthesis model, with a reference implementation in the ChucK programming language, offers three levels of representation: the transcription mode requires specifying precise values of all control parameters, the instrument mode allows users to freely trigger and control laughter within the instrument's capacities, and the agent mode semi-automatically generates laughter according to its predefined characteristic tendency. Modified versions of this model has served as a stimulus generator for conducting perception experiments, as well as an instrument for the laptop orchestra. The second part of the dissertation (Chapter 4) describes a series of experiments conducted to understand (1) how acoustic features affect listeners' perception of emotions in synthesized laughter, and (2) the extent to which this observed relationships between features and emotions are laughter-specific. To explore the first question, a few chosen features are varied systematically to measure their impact on the perceived intensity and valence of emotions. To explore the second question, we intentionally eliminate timbral and pitch-contour cues that are essential to our recognition of laughter in order to gauge the extent to which our acoustic features are specific to the domain of laughter. As a related contribution, we describe our attempts to characterize features of auditory signal that can be used to distinguish laughter from speech (Chapter 5). While the corpus used to conduct this work does not provide annotations about the emotional qualities of laughter, and instead simply labels a given frame as either laughter, filler (such as 'uh', 'like', or 'er'), or garbage (including speech without laughter), this portion of research nonetheless serves as a starting point for applying our insights from Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 to a more practical problem involving laughter classification using real-life data. By focusing on the affective dimensions of laughter, this work complements prior works on laughter synthesis that have primarily emphasized the acceptability criteria. Moreover, by collecting listeners' response to synthesized laughter stimuli, this work attempts to establish a causal link between acoustic features and emotional meaning that is difficult to achieve when using real laughter sounds. The collection of research presented in this dissertation is intended to offer novel tools and framework for exploring many more unsolved questions about how humans communicate through laughter.
Laughter is a universal human response to emotional stimuli. Though the production mechanism of laughter may seem crude when compared to other modes of vocalization such as speech and singing, the resulting auditory signal is nonetheless expressive. That is, laughter triggered by different social and emotional contexts is characterized by distinctiveness in auditory features that implicate certain state and attitude of the laughing person. By implementing prototypes for interactive laughter synthesis and conducting crowdsourced experiments on the synthesized laughter stimuli, this dissertation investigates acoustic features of laughter expressions, and how they may give rise to emotional meaning. The first part of the dissertation (Chapter 3) provides a new approach for interactive laughter synthesis that prioritizes expressiveness. Our synthesis model, with a reference implementation in the ChucK programming language, offers three levels of representation: the transcription mode requires specifying precise values of all control parameters, the instrument mode allows users to freely trigger and control laughter within the instrument's capacities, and the agent mode semi-automatically generates laughter according to its predefined characteristic tendency. Modified versions of this model has served as a stimulus generator for conducting perception experiments, as well as an instrument for the laptop orchestra. The second part of the dissertation (Chapter 4) describes a series of experiments conducted to understand (1) how acoustic features affect listeners' perception of emotions in synthesized laughter, and (2) the extent to which this observed relationships between features and emotions are laughter-specific. To explore the first question, a few chosen features are varied systematically to measure their impact on the perceived intensity and valence of emotions. To explore the second question, we intentionally eliminate timbral and pitch-contour cues that are essential to our recognition of laughter in order to gauge the extent to which our acoustic features are specific to the domain of laughter. As a related contribution, we describe our attempts to characterize features of auditory signal that can be used to distinguish laughter from speech (Chapter 5). While the corpus used to conduct this work does not provide annotations about the emotional qualities of laughter, and instead simply labels a given frame as either laughter, filler (such as 'uh', 'like', or 'er'), or garbage (including speech without laughter), this portion of research nonetheless serves as a starting point for applying our insights from Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 to a more practical problem involving laughter classification using real-life data. By focusing on the affective dimensions of laughter, this work complements prior works on laughter synthesis that have primarily emphasized the acceptability criteria. Moreover, by collecting listeners' response to synthesized laughter stimuli, this work attempts to establish a causal link between acoustic features and emotional meaning that is difficult to achieve when using real laughter sounds. The collection of research presented in this dissertation is intended to offer novel tools and framework for exploring many more unsolved questions about how humans communicate through laughter.
Book
1 online resource.
Despite opera's well-known exclusivity, the genre has in fact consistently been the target of popularizing initiatives, a point often overlooked in accounts of its history. This dissertation identifies and explains trends in efforts to democratize opera in the United States from the late nineteenth century to the present day. Examining both traditional live performance and opera's dissemination through new media formats, this research is the first to illuminate patterns in the great variation in the presentation style of popularly oriented opera in America over the last century, revealing novel source materials that challenge existing views of the genre. I argue that these little-explored democratizing initiatives have been dominated by ideals of uplift (1895-1920), integration (1920-1970), and authenticity (1970-present). Three case studies represent the prevailing trend of each era: Henry Savage's English Grand Opera Company (1895-1912), the NBC-TV Opera Theater (1949-64), and the Metropolitan Opera's Live in HD broadcasts (2006-present [2014]). I also show how changing ideologies about the role of "high culture" in society, sociodemographic shifts in the composition of the middle and upper classes and the immigrant population, and technological advances in mass media such as TV and HD satellite broadcasts have informed the emergence and character of these opera popularization strategies.
Despite opera's well-known exclusivity, the genre has in fact consistently been the target of popularizing initiatives, a point often overlooked in accounts of its history. This dissertation identifies and explains trends in efforts to democratize opera in the United States from the late nineteenth century to the present day. Examining both traditional live performance and opera's dissemination through new media formats, this research is the first to illuminate patterns in the great variation in the presentation style of popularly oriented opera in America over the last century, revealing novel source materials that challenge existing views of the genre. I argue that these little-explored democratizing initiatives have been dominated by ideals of uplift (1895-1920), integration (1920-1970), and authenticity (1970-present). Three case studies represent the prevailing trend of each era: Henry Savage's English Grand Opera Company (1895-1912), the NBC-TV Opera Theater (1949-64), and the Metropolitan Opera's Live in HD broadcasts (2006-present [2014]). I also show how changing ideologies about the role of "high culture" in society, sociodemographic shifts in the composition of the middle and upper classes and the immigrant population, and technological advances in mass media such as TV and HD satellite broadcasts have informed the emergence and character of these opera popularization strategies.
Book
1 online resource.
This dissertation is comprised of two musical works that set the poetry of Matthea Harvey. These songs explore themes of terror, contingency, complacency, and the grotesque. The first musical work presented here is "as if to hold the hemispheres of their own heads together (black; dahlia 1)" for flute, oboe, tenor saxophone, soprano, violin, violoncello, and double bass. This piece sets Harvey's "How We Learned to Hold Hands, " from the poet's collection Modern Life. Ensemble Dal Niente premiered "as if to hold the hemispheres of their own heads together (black; dahlia 1)" in January, 2014. The second musical work presented here is "the future of terror, " for flute and soprano. This song cycle sets Harvey's series "The Future of Terror, " also from her collection Modern Life. Liz Pearse and Élise Roy — for whom this work was written — premiered "the future of terror" in May, 2014.
This dissertation is comprised of two musical works that set the poetry of Matthea Harvey. These songs explore themes of terror, contingency, complacency, and the grotesque. The first musical work presented here is "as if to hold the hemispheres of their own heads together (black; dahlia 1)" for flute, oboe, tenor saxophone, soprano, violin, violoncello, and double bass. This piece sets Harvey's "How We Learned to Hold Hands, " from the poet's collection Modern Life. Ensemble Dal Niente premiered "as if to hold the hemispheres of their own heads together (black; dahlia 1)" in January, 2014. The second musical work presented here is "the future of terror, " for flute and soprano. This song cycle sets Harvey's series "The Future of Terror, " also from her collection Modern Life. Liz Pearse and Élise Roy — for whom this work was written — premiered "the future of terror" in May, 2014.
Book
1 online resource.
Although music was a prominent—and sometimes inescapable—feature of international expositions ("world's fairs"), studies rarely address the sonic elements of these large public occasions. Instead, historians have focused on exposition architecture, advertisement, and exhibits. Music, however, played a significant role in shaping the experience of many expositions. Administrators allocated relatively large budgets for musical activities and scrupulously planned the musical programming. Newspaper and witness accounts attest to the ubiquity of musical performances in exhibit halls, exposition thoroughfares, specially designed concert halls, and amusement zones. Yet music was not just physically present on fairgrounds; it often stood at the center of heated disputes over national representation among administrators, critics, and audiences. This dissertation analyzes the musical activities of four international expositions held in Santiago de Chile, Philadelphia, Buenos Aires, and San Francisco between 1875 and 1915, the "golden age" of international expositions. Using an interdisciplinary approach that engages with research in history, cultural studies, and musicology, I have examined how exposition music contributed to representations of identity on fairgrounds, particularly along lines of gender, ethnicity, nationality, and class. I account for the wide variety of musical production that occurred in and around exposition grounds, including (but not limited to) the mainstream musical events sponsored by exposition administrators. As one might expect, heavily publicized mainstream musical events usually reinforced dominant social hierarchies by presenting the music of middle- and upper-class white men as evidence of human advancement. This dissertation, however, argues that groups marginalized by official exposition events—including women, American Indians, and middle-class Argentines—also saw music as a powerful means of representation, and sometimes used musical events to provide alternative representations of themselves. At Latin American expositions, organizers used musical events to situate their nations as full members of the international community, counteracting the marginalization and exoticization that they often faced at expositions held in the United States and Europe.
Although music was a prominent—and sometimes inescapable—feature of international expositions ("world's fairs"), studies rarely address the sonic elements of these large public occasions. Instead, historians have focused on exposition architecture, advertisement, and exhibits. Music, however, played a significant role in shaping the experience of many expositions. Administrators allocated relatively large budgets for musical activities and scrupulously planned the musical programming. Newspaper and witness accounts attest to the ubiquity of musical performances in exhibit halls, exposition thoroughfares, specially designed concert halls, and amusement zones. Yet music was not just physically present on fairgrounds; it often stood at the center of heated disputes over national representation among administrators, critics, and audiences. This dissertation analyzes the musical activities of four international expositions held in Santiago de Chile, Philadelphia, Buenos Aires, and San Francisco between 1875 and 1915, the "golden age" of international expositions. Using an interdisciplinary approach that engages with research in history, cultural studies, and musicology, I have examined how exposition music contributed to representations of identity on fairgrounds, particularly along lines of gender, ethnicity, nationality, and class. I account for the wide variety of musical production that occurred in and around exposition grounds, including (but not limited to) the mainstream musical events sponsored by exposition administrators. As one might expect, heavily publicized mainstream musical events usually reinforced dominant social hierarchies by presenting the music of middle- and upper-class white men as evidence of human advancement. This dissertation, however, argues that groups marginalized by official exposition events—including women, American Indians, and middle-class Argentines—also saw music as a powerful means of representation, and sometimes used musical events to provide alternative representations of themselves. At Latin American expositions, organizers used musical events to situate their nations as full members of the international community, counteracting the marginalization and exoticization that they often faced at expositions held in the United States and Europe.
Book
1 online resource.
Our expectations for how visual interactions sound are shaped in part by our own learned understandings of and experiences with objects and actions, and in part by the extent to which we perceive coherence between gestures which can be identified as "sound-generating" and their resultant sonic events. Even as advances in technology have made the creation of dynamic computer-generated audio-visual spaces not only possible but increasingly common, composers and sound designers have sought tighter integration between action and gesture in the visual domain and their accompanying sound and musical events in the auditory domain. Procedural audio and music, or the use of real-time data generated by in-game actors and their interactions in virtual space to dynamically generate sound and music, allows sound artists to create tight couplings across the visual and auditory modalities. Such procedural approaches however become problematic when players or observers are presented with audio-visual events within novel environments wherein their own prior knowledge and learned expectations about sound, image and interactivity are no longer valid. With the use of procedurally-generated music and audio in interactive systems becoming more prevalent, composers, sound-designers and programmers are faced with an increasing need to establish low-level understandings of the crossmodal correlations between visual gesture and sonified musical result both to convey artistic intent as well as to present communicative sonifications of visual action and event. For composers and designers attempting to build evocative and expressive procedural sound and music systems, when the local realities of any given virtual space are completely flexible and malleable, there exist few to no dependable locale-specific models upon which to base their choices of mapping schemata. This research focuses jointly on the creative and technical concerns necessary to build procedurally-generated crossmodal musical interactions, as well as on the perceptual issues surrounding specific mapping schemata linking interactions with sound and music. A software solution and methodology are presented to facillitate the mapping of parameters of action, motion and gesture from virtual space to sound-generating process, allowing composers and designers to repurpose real-time data as drivers for compositional and sound-related process. Creative and technical examples drawn from a series of multimodal musical experiences are presented and discussed, exploring a variety of potential mapping schemata as well as the inner workings of the presented codebases. To assess the perceived coherence between motion and gesture in the visual modality and generated sound and musical events in the auditory modality, this research also details a user-study measuring the impact of audio-visual crossmodal correspondences between low-level attributes of motion and sound. Subjects taking part in a controlled study were presented with multimodal examples of musically sonified motion in a pairwise comparison task and asked to rate the perceived fit between visual and auditory events. Each example was defined as a composite set of simple motion and sound attributes. Study results were analyzed using the Bradley-Terry statistical model, effectively calculating the relative contribution of each crossmodal attribute within each attribute pairing to the perceived coherence or 'fit' between audio and visual data. The statistical analysis of correlated motion/sound mappings and their relative contributions to the perceptual coherence of audio-visual interactions lay the groundwork towards the establishment of predictive models linking attributes of sound and motion to perceived fit.
Our expectations for how visual interactions sound are shaped in part by our own learned understandings of and experiences with objects and actions, and in part by the extent to which we perceive coherence between gestures which can be identified as "sound-generating" and their resultant sonic events. Even as advances in technology have made the creation of dynamic computer-generated audio-visual spaces not only possible but increasingly common, composers and sound designers have sought tighter integration between action and gesture in the visual domain and their accompanying sound and musical events in the auditory domain. Procedural audio and music, or the use of real-time data generated by in-game actors and their interactions in virtual space to dynamically generate sound and music, allows sound artists to create tight couplings across the visual and auditory modalities. Such procedural approaches however become problematic when players or observers are presented with audio-visual events within novel environments wherein their own prior knowledge and learned expectations about sound, image and interactivity are no longer valid. With the use of procedurally-generated music and audio in interactive systems becoming more prevalent, composers, sound-designers and programmers are faced with an increasing need to establish low-level understandings of the crossmodal correlations between visual gesture and sonified musical result both to convey artistic intent as well as to present communicative sonifications of visual action and event. For composers and designers attempting to build evocative and expressive procedural sound and music systems, when the local realities of any given virtual space are completely flexible and malleable, there exist few to no dependable locale-specific models upon which to base their choices of mapping schemata. This research focuses jointly on the creative and technical concerns necessary to build procedurally-generated crossmodal musical interactions, as well as on the perceptual issues surrounding specific mapping schemata linking interactions with sound and music. A software solution and methodology are presented to facillitate the mapping of parameters of action, motion and gesture from virtual space to sound-generating process, allowing composers and designers to repurpose real-time data as drivers for compositional and sound-related process. Creative and technical examples drawn from a series of multimodal musical experiences are presented and discussed, exploring a variety of potential mapping schemata as well as the inner workings of the presented codebases. To assess the perceived coherence between motion and gesture in the visual modality and generated sound and musical events in the auditory modality, this research also details a user-study measuring the impact of audio-visual crossmodal correspondences between low-level attributes of motion and sound. Subjects taking part in a controlled study were presented with multimodal examples of musically sonified motion in a pairwise comparison task and asked to rate the perceived fit between visual and auditory events. Each example was defined as a composite set of simple motion and sound attributes. Study results were analyzed using the Bradley-Terry statistical model, effectively calculating the relative contribution of each crossmodal attribute within each attribute pairing to the perceived coherence or 'fit' between audio and visual data. The statistical analysis of correlated motion/sound mappings and their relative contributions to the perceptual coherence of audio-visual interactions lay the groundwork towards the establishment of predictive models linking attributes of sound and motion to perceived fit.
Book
1 online resource.
This dissertation is comprised of a single work, Resonances, which was written and premiered by Elision Ensemble. The compositional motivation behind Resonances was driven by the following two questions pertaining to the acoustic peculiarities of wind instruments: (1) Is it possible to design an algorithmic system to formulate various degrees of polyphonic correlations, which would yield multiple formal relations as a function of acoustic distinctiveness?; (2) If so, how perceptible would the resulting polyphony be? Focusing on the deviation degrees of acoustic properties, Resonances views the instruments as complex acoustic mechanisms. I represent the complexity of each instrument in a matrix, the inputs of which are various acoustic measurements of a wind instrument. An algorithm operates on these matrices to generate new matrices. Then, the output matrices are plotted in a multidimensional space through which various geometric relations (in terms of deviational scaling) are devised to formulate formal structures.
This dissertation is comprised of a single work, Resonances, which was written and premiered by Elision Ensemble. The compositional motivation behind Resonances was driven by the following two questions pertaining to the acoustic peculiarities of wind instruments: (1) Is it possible to design an algorithmic system to formulate various degrees of polyphonic correlations, which would yield multiple formal relations as a function of acoustic distinctiveness?; (2) If so, how perceptible would the resulting polyphony be? Focusing on the deviation degrees of acoustic properties, Resonances views the instruments as complex acoustic mechanisms. I represent the complexity of each instrument in a matrix, the inputs of which are various acoustic measurements of a wind instrument. An algorithm operates on these matrices to generate new matrices. Then, the output matrices are plotted in a multidimensional space through which various geometric relations (in terms of deviational scaling) are devised to formulate formal structures.
Book
1 online resource.
In 1963, four years after recording Kind of Blue, his most successful album to date, Miles Davis began to assemble a new ensemble to record and tour. But much had changed in those four years. Ornette Coleman's sensational 1959 premiere at the Five Spot Café in Manhattan's East Village introduced audiences to a free improvised "new thing" in jazz and marked the emergence of an avant-garde. In turn, critics quickly portrayed Coleman, along with Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, and others, as insurrectionists who were intent on shattering the jazz tradition. Meanwhile, jazz venues in New York shuttered as the city government implemented urban renewal programs that targeted vice districts for "slum clearance, " reshaping the city's topography and impinging upon its music culture. As the "new thing" gained increasing critical attention, and musical experimentalism among emergent and veteran improvising musicians flourished, the music of Miles Davis's "Second Quintet" gradually became more "free." This dissertation offers an explanation of this stylistic change via the experimentalism of the so-called jazz avant-gardists, tracing how "free" (i.e. timbral, chromatic, polymetric, and free meter) improvisation proliferated in their live and studio recordings up to 1968. I suggest that the increasing abstraction and volatility of the Quintet's music can be best understood in the context of the jazz avant-garde and the tumultuous social and structural changes of the 1960s. I index the stylistic change of the Quintet chronologically across four chapters. Chapter One discusses the emergent jazz avant-garde and New York City's changing jazz culture and infrastructure circa 1959. The first half of Chapter Two is an exegesis of avant-gardism in critical jazz literature; the second half of the chapter goes into detail on the improvisational and compositional techniques of the jazz avant-garde. Chapter Three explores three important events in the Quintet's timeline: the departure of tenor saxophonist George Coleman, the addition of Sam Rivers on the group's Japanese tour in the summer of 1964, and the Quintet's several-week engagement at Chicago's Plugged Nickel nightclub featuring Wayne Shorter in December 1965. Chapter Four begins with an overview of a revealing critic roundtable on the jazz avant-garde printed in a 1965 issue of Down Beat magazine that vividly illustrates the mostly negative reception of the "new thing" and the relatively narrow space that these artists had to respond to criticism. The latter half of the chapter shows the Quintet's transformation between 1966-67, comparing the growing abstraction and intensity in their music with that of Cecil Taylor's 1966 LP Unit Structures. By focusing on free improvisation and calling into question genre as reliable taxonomy for artistic praxis, I seek to provide deeper understanding of Miles Davis's music and that of the jazz avant-garde of the 1960s, acknowledging experimentation as an important pretext for innovation. Utilizing archival research, comparative music analysis, and original musician interviews, I show how expressive freedom was a shared ideal among improvising musicians across the musical field, from the underground into the mainstream. As such, experimentalism, I argue, is the link between the jazz avant-garde and Davis's quintet during a transformational moment in American music history.
In 1963, four years after recording Kind of Blue, his most successful album to date, Miles Davis began to assemble a new ensemble to record and tour. But much had changed in those four years. Ornette Coleman's sensational 1959 premiere at the Five Spot Café in Manhattan's East Village introduced audiences to a free improvised "new thing" in jazz and marked the emergence of an avant-garde. In turn, critics quickly portrayed Coleman, along with Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, and others, as insurrectionists who were intent on shattering the jazz tradition. Meanwhile, jazz venues in New York shuttered as the city government implemented urban renewal programs that targeted vice districts for "slum clearance, " reshaping the city's topography and impinging upon its music culture. As the "new thing" gained increasing critical attention, and musical experimentalism among emergent and veteran improvising musicians flourished, the music of Miles Davis's "Second Quintet" gradually became more "free." This dissertation offers an explanation of this stylistic change via the experimentalism of the so-called jazz avant-gardists, tracing how "free" (i.e. timbral, chromatic, polymetric, and free meter) improvisation proliferated in their live and studio recordings up to 1968. I suggest that the increasing abstraction and volatility of the Quintet's music can be best understood in the context of the jazz avant-garde and the tumultuous social and structural changes of the 1960s. I index the stylistic change of the Quintet chronologically across four chapters. Chapter One discusses the emergent jazz avant-garde and New York City's changing jazz culture and infrastructure circa 1959. The first half of Chapter Two is an exegesis of avant-gardism in critical jazz literature; the second half of the chapter goes into detail on the improvisational and compositional techniques of the jazz avant-garde. Chapter Three explores three important events in the Quintet's timeline: the departure of tenor saxophonist George Coleman, the addition of Sam Rivers on the group's Japanese tour in the summer of 1964, and the Quintet's several-week engagement at Chicago's Plugged Nickel nightclub featuring Wayne Shorter in December 1965. Chapter Four begins with an overview of a revealing critic roundtable on the jazz avant-garde printed in a 1965 issue of Down Beat magazine that vividly illustrates the mostly negative reception of the "new thing" and the relatively narrow space that these artists had to respond to criticism. The latter half of the chapter shows the Quintet's transformation between 1966-67, comparing the growing abstraction and intensity in their music with that of Cecil Taylor's 1966 LP Unit Structures. By focusing on free improvisation and calling into question genre as reliable taxonomy for artistic praxis, I seek to provide deeper understanding of Miles Davis's music and that of the jazz avant-garde of the 1960s, acknowledging experimentation as an important pretext for innovation. Utilizing archival research, comparative music analysis, and original musician interviews, I show how expressive freedom was a shared ideal among improvising musicians across the musical field, from the underground into the mainstream. As such, experimentalism, I argue, is the link between the jazz avant-garde and Davis's quintet during a transformational moment in American music history.
Book
1 online resource.
This interdisciplinary dissertation initiates and contextualizes human psychoacoustic research in the 3,000-year old Andean ceremonial center at Chavín de Huántar, Perú, a Formative Period site where sensory experience is considered to have been integral to ritual. Psychoacoustics is an experimental science that examines auditory perceptual and cognitive responses of living beings to sound. Although established principles can be used to inform research, for archaeological purposes, systematic experimentation permits the site-contextualized evaluation of auditory perception across a group of participants. Such consensus testing allows for multiple reactions to be examined in a research process that considers individual subjectivity while simultaneously illuminating commonalities across humans. The novel methodology presented here highlights the variation in individual human experience that is frequently subsumed in archaeological generalization. Psychoacoustic experimental evidence from Chavín's well-preserved interior "gallery" architecture guides the estimation of ancient experiential dynamics within these spaces. In 2007, a group of researchers, including the author, formed an archaeoacoustics project based at Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), with Chavín as its case study. An exemplary site for archaeoacoustic investigation, Chavín provides enclosed interior architecture where acoustic measurements can be made and auditory perception tested. Site excavations have unearthed intact musical/sound-producing instruments, the Strombus galeatus marine shell aerophones/horns known in the Andes as "pututus", which the team has acoustically and physically characterized to understand their potential as ancient sound generators. On-site archaeoacoustic research began with the team's exploratory fieldwork in 2008, and continued with the author's subsequent multi- year field study that sought data to posit characteristics of Chavín's ancient sound environment. Sound transmits information, whether natural or anthropogenic, and is assumed fundamental to human experience, whether heard or otherwise perceived. A physical assessment of acoustic environmental and sound source dynamics, informed by perceptual evaluation of their associated sensory effects, permits the estimation of ancient communication modalities not identifiable through other examinations of material traces. Evaluation of the auditory perceptual implications of ancient architectural and instrumental acoustic dynamics yields new evidence relevant to human behavior. The Stanford IRB-approved psychoacoustic experimentation detailed in this dissertation was designed to elucidate relationships between Chavín gallery acoustics and the perception of sound source locations by humans within these spaces. Specifically, how does gallery architecture relate to human auditory localization? This inceptive research question followed analyses of measured data showing interior architectural acoustics consistent with "vague" auditory localization cues, contrasted by subsequent gallery fieldwork that demonstrated in-situ examples of sound source localization accuracy. Through on-site observation and measurement, the directivity of acoustic waveguide-like architecture was identified as an influential factor in sound transmission within Chavín's interior spaces. The sectional dimensional variations of gallery architecture correspond not only to spatial segmentations, but to demonstrable and perceptible acoustic effects. Field measurements and a computational acoustic model have confirmed that gallery acoustics can be functionally characterized as a highly-coupled network of partially segregated spatial units. However, the perceptual implications of the acoustic features created by these architectural forms were uncertain without a contextually accurate subjective study. Because extant gallery architecture is enclosed and considered structurally intact, the research question could be addressed via psychoacoustic experimentation conducted in the galleries. To systematically evaluate architectural-perceptual relationships, the author designed and implemented on- site auditory localization experiments that drew its volunteer adult participants from members of the multicultural, Stanford-affiliated archaeological research project at Chavín. These experiments tested participants' localization of a realistic sound stimulus (a recording of a site-excavated shell horn reproduced through identical loudspeakers from different locations) across a range of typical gallery architectural forms that bridged source and "listener" locations. Auditory localization facilitates one's understanding of personal location with respect to physical space and others. Although many aspects of auditory perception are influenced by cultural context, sensory mechanisms that serve corporeal orientation functions for the human organism can be assumed uniform in the species over time. In laboratory research, auditory localization has been specifically related to acoustic dynamics based on well-understood psychophysical principles known as localization cues. In the broadest sense, acoustic physical and linked perceptual dynamics represent information exchange, which can be archaeologically contextualized here in terms of its importance for Chavín as a center of social interaction framed by hierarchical distinctions. According to a premise most substantially developed by John Rick, the substantial resources required for Chavín's plausibly 700-year period of active development (approx. 1200-500 B.C.) were commanded by an authoritative elite who demonstrated and controlled ritual access via innovations shrouded in tradition. The ceremonial complex would have been wielded as a multi-sensory venue, a place where convincing experiential manipulations impressed visitors, whose proven connection with the Chavín "cult" would bolster their home status. Through this process, Chavín values were strengthened throughout its region of influence, as evinced, for example, by many examples of geographically dispersed Chavín iconography. Material traces of such plausible social dynamics are better understood through acoustic and psychoacoustic investigations, research that is providing new evidence for an ancient sound environment at Chavín that could be used as a tool for intentional and strategic manipulation of human experience. The research innovations presented here address multi-disciplinary concerns. With respect to Andean archaeology, the auditory localization experiments detailed in this dissertation initiated systematic on-site human perceptual testing within the Chavín galleries to evaluate interior architectural acoustic effects at this Formative period site. This methodologically novel approach allows for a range of individual perceptual responses to be illuminated and considered, rather than foregrounding researcher observation as is typical in archaeological fieldwork. Issues pertinent to experimental psychology were addressed in the design and implementation of in-situ, "ecologically valid" experiments that directly tested subjective response to a real acoustic environment, purposefully avoiding the intrinsic artificialities of experiments conducted in laboratory settings with electro-acoustic auralizations of acoustic space. Principles of architectural acoustics and spatial sound perception were applied in a field study of interior structures shown to function together as a highly-coupled acoustic waveguide network, where right-angled corners and abrupt sectional changes between architectural elements demonstrably correspond with perceptual effects. This project has adapted theoretical and methodological models from several disciplines to relate acoustics and human experience in the context of an ancient ceremonial center.
This interdisciplinary dissertation initiates and contextualizes human psychoacoustic research in the 3,000-year old Andean ceremonial center at Chavín de Huántar, Perú, a Formative Period site where sensory experience is considered to have been integral to ritual. Psychoacoustics is an experimental science that examines auditory perceptual and cognitive responses of living beings to sound. Although established principles can be used to inform research, for archaeological purposes, systematic experimentation permits the site-contextualized evaluation of auditory perception across a group of participants. Such consensus testing allows for multiple reactions to be examined in a research process that considers individual subjectivity while simultaneously illuminating commonalities across humans. The novel methodology presented here highlights the variation in individual human experience that is frequently subsumed in archaeological generalization. Psychoacoustic experimental evidence from Chavín's well-preserved interior "gallery" architecture guides the estimation of ancient experiential dynamics within these spaces. In 2007, a group of researchers, including the author, formed an archaeoacoustics project based at Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), with Chavín as its case study. An exemplary site for archaeoacoustic investigation, Chavín provides enclosed interior architecture where acoustic measurements can be made and auditory perception tested. Site excavations have unearthed intact musical/sound-producing instruments, the Strombus galeatus marine shell aerophones/horns known in the Andes as "pututus", which the team has acoustically and physically characterized to understand their potential as ancient sound generators. On-site archaeoacoustic research began with the team's exploratory fieldwork in 2008, and continued with the author's subsequent multi- year field study that sought data to posit characteristics of Chavín's ancient sound environment. Sound transmits information, whether natural or anthropogenic, and is assumed fundamental to human experience, whether heard or otherwise perceived. A physical assessment of acoustic environmental and sound source dynamics, informed by perceptual evaluation of their associated sensory effects, permits the estimation of ancient communication modalities not identifiable through other examinations of material traces. Evaluation of the auditory perceptual implications of ancient architectural and instrumental acoustic dynamics yields new evidence relevant to human behavior. The Stanford IRB-approved psychoacoustic experimentation detailed in this dissertation was designed to elucidate relationships between Chavín gallery acoustics and the perception of sound source locations by humans within these spaces. Specifically, how does gallery architecture relate to human auditory localization? This inceptive research question followed analyses of measured data showing interior architectural acoustics consistent with "vague" auditory localization cues, contrasted by subsequent gallery fieldwork that demonstrated in-situ examples of sound source localization accuracy. Through on-site observation and measurement, the directivity of acoustic waveguide-like architecture was identified as an influential factor in sound transmission within Chavín's interior spaces. The sectional dimensional variations of gallery architecture correspond not only to spatial segmentations, but to demonstrable and perceptible acoustic effects. Field measurements and a computational acoustic model have confirmed that gallery acoustics can be functionally characterized as a highly-coupled network of partially segregated spatial units. However, the perceptual implications of the acoustic features created by these architectural forms were uncertain without a contextually accurate subjective study. Because extant gallery architecture is enclosed and considered structurally intact, the research question could be addressed via psychoacoustic experimentation conducted in the galleries. To systematically evaluate architectural-perceptual relationships, the author designed and implemented on- site auditory localization experiments that drew its volunteer adult participants from members of the multicultural, Stanford-affiliated archaeological research project at Chavín. These experiments tested participants' localization of a realistic sound stimulus (a recording of a site-excavated shell horn reproduced through identical loudspeakers from different locations) across a range of typical gallery architectural forms that bridged source and "listener" locations. Auditory localization facilitates one's understanding of personal location with respect to physical space and others. Although many aspects of auditory perception are influenced by cultural context, sensory mechanisms that serve corporeal orientation functions for the human organism can be assumed uniform in the species over time. In laboratory research, auditory localization has been specifically related to acoustic dynamics based on well-understood psychophysical principles known as localization cues. In the broadest sense, acoustic physical and linked perceptual dynamics represent information exchange, which can be archaeologically contextualized here in terms of its importance for Chavín as a center of social interaction framed by hierarchical distinctions. According to a premise most substantially developed by John Rick, the substantial resources required for Chavín's plausibly 700-year period of active development (approx. 1200-500 B.C.) were commanded by an authoritative elite who demonstrated and controlled ritual access via innovations shrouded in tradition. The ceremonial complex would have been wielded as a multi-sensory venue, a place where convincing experiential manipulations impressed visitors, whose proven connection with the Chavín "cult" would bolster their home status. Through this process, Chavín values were strengthened throughout its region of influence, as evinced, for example, by many examples of geographically dispersed Chavín iconography. Material traces of such plausible social dynamics are better understood through acoustic and psychoacoustic investigations, research that is providing new evidence for an ancient sound environment at Chavín that could be used as a tool for intentional and strategic manipulation of human experience. The research innovations presented here address multi-disciplinary concerns. With respect to Andean archaeology, the auditory localization experiments detailed in this dissertation initiated systematic on-site human perceptual testing within the Chavín galleries to evaluate interior architectural acoustic effects at this Formative period site. This methodologically novel approach allows for a range of individual perceptual responses to be illuminated and considered, rather than foregrounding researcher observation as is typical in archaeological fieldwork. Issues pertinent to experimental psychology were addressed in the design and implementation of in-situ, "ecologically valid" experiments that directly tested subjective response to a real acoustic environment, purposefully avoiding the intrinsic artificialities of experiments conducted in laboratory settings with electro-acoustic auralizations of acoustic space. Principles of architectural acoustics and spatial sound perception were applied in a field study of interior structures shown to function together as a highly-coupled acoustic waveguide network, where right-angled corners and abrupt sectional changes between architectural elements demonstrably correspond with perceptual effects. This project has adapted theoretical and methodological models from several disciplines to relate acoustics and human experience in the context of an ancient ceremonial center.
Book
1 online resource.
This final project is comprised of three works completed over the past two years, and an introductory paper that briefly outlines the approaches to timbre taken in each piece. All three of the compositions approach timbre from a different perspective and explore the possibilities and compositional applications of multidimensional timbre representations. The final project does not present a comprehensive history of timbre, all the research that has been undertaken on the topic, or a complete account of the composers who have used timbre models. Rather, the models and compositions presented here are meant to provide insight into my own compositional thought process. The three original pieces illustrate a trajectory through which composing with timbre yielded new creative insights and compositional techniques. Emergent in these works is a common theme and exploration of "timbre space" and "timbre in space." The first piece presented in this portfolio is Ostiatim, for string quartet. It explores timbre space as a morphing device for sculpting material. Ostiatim was premiered by the Jack Quartet. The second piece, Clocca, for chamber ensemble, examines timbre space as a structuring device. Clocca was premiered by the Talea Ensemble. Finally, the third piece in the collection, Occupied Spaces, for two piano and percussion, explores a series of timbral spaces, presented as "rooms, " which grow, shrink, and continuously shift in shape. Unlike Ostiatim and Clocca, this final piece explores timbre in space. Occupied Spaces was premiered by the ensemble Yarn/Wire.
This final project is comprised of three works completed over the past two years, and an introductory paper that briefly outlines the approaches to timbre taken in each piece. All three of the compositions approach timbre from a different perspective and explore the possibilities and compositional applications of multidimensional timbre representations. The final project does not present a comprehensive history of timbre, all the research that has been undertaken on the topic, or a complete account of the composers who have used timbre models. Rather, the models and compositions presented here are meant to provide insight into my own compositional thought process. The three original pieces illustrate a trajectory through which composing with timbre yielded new creative insights and compositional techniques. Emergent in these works is a common theme and exploration of "timbre space" and "timbre in space." The first piece presented in this portfolio is Ostiatim, for string quartet. It explores timbre space as a morphing device for sculpting material. Ostiatim was premiered by the Jack Quartet. The second piece, Clocca, for chamber ensemble, examines timbre space as a structuring device. Clocca was premiered by the Talea Ensemble. Finally, the third piece in the collection, Occupied Spaces, for two piano and percussion, explores a series of timbral spaces, presented as "rooms, " which grow, shrink, and continuously shift in shape. Unlike Ostiatim and Clocca, this final piece explores timbre in space. Occupied Spaces was premiered by the ensemble Yarn/Wire.
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Correlation analyses of encoded music performance by a large and diverse international community of amateur performers afford insights into fundamental questions of musical behavior. By observing demographic data associated with a corpus of performance recordings, we can conjecture about cultural, geographical, topographical, socio-political, economic and other potential influences, and explore possible 'universals' in musical thought and practice. This study attempts to address questions of musical practices from an entirely novel perspective, specifically taking advantage of massively popular game-oriented music performance programs on mobile devices.
Correlation analyses of encoded music performance by a large and diverse international community of amateur performers afford insights into fundamental questions of musical behavior. By observing demographic data associated with a corpus of performance recordings, we can conjecture about cultural, geographical, topographical, socio-political, economic and other potential influences, and explore possible 'universals' in musical thought and practice. This study attempts to address questions of musical practices from an entirely novel perspective, specifically taking advantage of massively popular game-oriented music performance programs on mobile devices.
Book
1 online resource.
This study salvages François Couperin's eighteenth-century reception from 78 manuscripts containing copies, transcriptions, and altered versions of his harpsichord music. These sources reveal that Couperin's audience knew and appreciated him mainly as a composer of light, charming pieces that spread haphazardly across the public music circuit. This contrasts surprisingly with his reception today, which prizes his richly textured pieces and sophisticated dances instead. The dissertation is organized in four sections supplemented by an extensive inventory of the manuscript sources. The introductory chapter accounts for the disparity between our Couperin and theirs by chronicling Couperin's legacy, focusing primarily on his place in J. S. Bach's first hundred years of posthumous reception and in Debussy's defense of the French Baroque. The second chapter establishes the group of Couperin's pieces that circulated as part of the brunette tradition of popular tunes in his time. It also addresses the thorny issue of dates for Couperin's music and presents previously unknown pieces attributable to the composer. The third chapter contains three case studies that illustrate contrasting conceptions of work identity in the public production and reception of Couperin's music. Here I argue that the dissemination of his popular pieces vividly illustrates a kind of socially configured work concept that Reinhard Strohm claims was operative before the era of the Beethovenian opus. The closing chapter then explores the plurality of social and musical ends that Couperin's music appears to have met in eighteenth-century Europe. Jürgen Habermas's claims about the origins of the public sphere are shown to provide a working framework for the various purposes that steered Couperin's musical efforts.
This study salvages François Couperin's eighteenth-century reception from 78 manuscripts containing copies, transcriptions, and altered versions of his harpsichord music. These sources reveal that Couperin's audience knew and appreciated him mainly as a composer of light, charming pieces that spread haphazardly across the public music circuit. This contrasts surprisingly with his reception today, which prizes his richly textured pieces and sophisticated dances instead. The dissertation is organized in four sections supplemented by an extensive inventory of the manuscript sources. The introductory chapter accounts for the disparity between our Couperin and theirs by chronicling Couperin's legacy, focusing primarily on his place in J. S. Bach's first hundred years of posthumous reception and in Debussy's defense of the French Baroque. The second chapter establishes the group of Couperin's pieces that circulated as part of the brunette tradition of popular tunes in his time. It also addresses the thorny issue of dates for Couperin's music and presents previously unknown pieces attributable to the composer. The third chapter contains three case studies that illustrate contrasting conceptions of work identity in the public production and reception of Couperin's music. Here I argue that the dissemination of his popular pieces vividly illustrates a kind of socially configured work concept that Reinhard Strohm claims was operative before the era of the Beethovenian opus. The closing chapter then explores the plurality of social and musical ends that Couperin's music appears to have met in eighteenth-century Europe. Jürgen Habermas's claims about the origins of the public sphere are shown to provide a working framework for the various purposes that steered Couperin's musical efforts.
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This D.M.A. dissertation consists of a portfolio of four musical works: Areas (for chamber orchestra), Torcal (for great organ), Gotlhar (for chamber ensemble), and Seco (for two pianos and two percussions). These pieces are the compositional application of my research on computational generative models of music material. One substantial idea during the writing of these compositions is that of formalizing the structure and organization of musical events with the aid of programmable algorithms. A common procedure for the composition of these works observes the Sensory Dissonance Curve model proposed by William Sethares. This model establishes a relationship between the spectrum of a sound and a tuning system in which the timbre of the former will appear most consonant (or dissonant otherwise) to a given scale configuration. The reversal process of defining timbral qualities of sounds given arbitrary scale/tuning fields is also possible. 'Dissonance-curve' scales and tunings defined by specific instrumentations (via their spectra), are subsequently mapped to harmonic/inharmonic chord configurations, whose ratio proportions determine the local rhythmic patterns and the durations of the large-scale form of the pieces. To facilitate the translation of the 'sensory dissonance curve' model and its subsequent mappings into music scores with a high level of notational/symbolic expressivity, I have developed Xa-Lan, a computer program written in Common LISP that uses the 'Expressive Notation Package' of PWGL for final output.
This D.M.A. dissertation consists of a portfolio of four musical works: Areas (for chamber orchestra), Torcal (for great organ), Gotlhar (for chamber ensemble), and Seco (for two pianos and two percussions). These pieces are the compositional application of my research on computational generative models of music material. One substantial idea during the writing of these compositions is that of formalizing the structure and organization of musical events with the aid of programmable algorithms. A common procedure for the composition of these works observes the Sensory Dissonance Curve model proposed by William Sethares. This model establishes a relationship between the spectrum of a sound and a tuning system in which the timbre of the former will appear most consonant (or dissonant otherwise) to a given scale configuration. The reversal process of defining timbral qualities of sounds given arbitrary scale/tuning fields is also possible. 'Dissonance-curve' scales and tunings defined by specific instrumentations (via their spectra), are subsequently mapped to harmonic/inharmonic chord configurations, whose ratio proportions determine the local rhythmic patterns and the durations of the large-scale form of the pieces. To facilitate the translation of the 'sensory dissonance curve' model and its subsequent mappings into music scores with a high level of notational/symbolic expressivity, I have developed Xa-Lan, a computer program written in Common LISP that uses the 'Expressive Notation Package' of PWGL for final output.
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Book
xv, 452 leaves : music ; 29 cm
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Arguably the most prominent poet of late 16th-century Italy, Torquato Tasso (1544-1595) produced throughout his career more than 1,500 lyric poems, collectively known as Rime. About 180 of these poems, for the most part madrigali liberi, enjoyed a remarkable musical fortune in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Indeed, between 1571 and 1620 they received about 500 polyphonic settings by composers of varied geographical provenance, ranging from central Europe to Sicily. In this dissertation I explore this vast poetic-musical repertoire, to which both literary scholars and musicologists have so far devoted limited attention. In so doing, I pursue two main research avenues: the first is to understand how these poems became musical hits; the second is to determine how composers set them to music, providing a snapshot of compositional personalities and schools. The dissertation is divided in two parts. Part I is titled "Selected Centers" and is composed of four chapters, each on a center where Tasso's lyric poems received a particularly large number of settings. The centers I examine are Ferrara, Mantua, Genoa, and Prague. In these chapters, I study how local literary trends and contacts with Tasso and his entourage influenced the production of Rime settings in each center. In addition, I analyze the musical settings, determining how they fit within local compositional styles. Part II is titled "Selected Poems" and is composed of three chapters that explore the musical reception of two specific poems, "Non è questa la mano" and "La bella pargoletta, " and of group of poems, the canzonettas. In these chapters I focus on the question of transmission, tracing where composers drew the texts from, and on stylistic analysis. The dissertation is accompanied by an appendix with an up-to-date list of the extant settings of Tasso's lyric poems.
Arguably the most prominent poet of late 16th-century Italy, Torquato Tasso (1544-1595) produced throughout his career more than 1,500 lyric poems, collectively known as Rime. About 180 of these poems, for the most part madrigali liberi, enjoyed a remarkable musical fortune in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Indeed, between 1571 and 1620 they received about 500 polyphonic settings by composers of varied geographical provenance, ranging from central Europe to Sicily. In this dissertation I explore this vast poetic-musical repertoire, to which both literary scholars and musicologists have so far devoted limited attention. In so doing, I pursue two main research avenues: the first is to understand how these poems became musical hits; the second is to determine how composers set them to music, providing a snapshot of compositional personalities and schools. The dissertation is divided in two parts. Part I is titled "Selected Centers" and is composed of four chapters, each on a center where Tasso's lyric poems received a particularly large number of settings. The centers I examine are Ferrara, Mantua, Genoa, and Prague. In these chapters, I study how local literary trends and contacts with Tasso and his entourage influenced the production of Rime settings in each center. In addition, I analyze the musical settings, determining how they fit within local compositional styles. Part II is titled "Selected Poems" and is composed of three chapters that explore the musical reception of two specific poems, "Non è questa la mano" and "La bella pargoletta, " and of group of poems, the canzonettas. In these chapters I focus on the question of transmission, tracing where composers drew the texts from, and on stylistic analysis. The dissertation is accompanied by an appendix with an up-to-date list of the extant settings of Tasso's lyric poems.
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In the last few years, musicians have been exploring ways to perform with people in different parts of a city, a country or the world. New technologies for the Internet have been developed that are already high-quality in terms of audio experience. There is, however, a persistent problem: telecommunications delay. Even though these latencies are presently down to approximately 150 milliseconds from opposites sites of the globe, we know that delays of 20 milliseconds are already problematic for musical performance. This research presents an experimental analysis of the rhythmic strategies that humans use to stay synchronized with different delay conditions, similar to the ones encountered in present day networked music performance concerts. The vast majority of experimental studies of sensorimotor synchronization involve humans synchronizing to machines, usually some sort of tapping experiments. Likewise, rhythmic tracking has overwhelmingly focused on the analysis of one musical source, but not on the interaction of performing musicians. This research's focus is on the latter. The results show that performers are able to adapt to different delay conditions anticipating each other's beats. This anticipation is believed to be an intrinsic aspect of beat perception. The results are compared to earlier studies and new metrics are proposed that consider the alternating interaction between musicians. This approach also adopts phase dynamics using stroboscopic mapping. An integrated model for tracking and generating rhythmic interactions between two performers is also presented. This model uses coupled adaptive oscillators and includes an anticipation and reaction parameter that is shown to be critical to understand rhythmic synchronization with delay. We show how this model compares to the experimental data and use it to explain some common observations in rhythmic performance with delay.
In the last few years, musicians have been exploring ways to perform with people in different parts of a city, a country or the world. New technologies for the Internet have been developed that are already high-quality in terms of audio experience. There is, however, a persistent problem: telecommunications delay. Even though these latencies are presently down to approximately 150 milliseconds from opposites sites of the globe, we know that delays of 20 milliseconds are already problematic for musical performance. This research presents an experimental analysis of the rhythmic strategies that humans use to stay synchronized with different delay conditions, similar to the ones encountered in present day networked music performance concerts. The vast majority of experimental studies of sensorimotor synchronization involve humans synchronizing to machines, usually some sort of tapping experiments. Likewise, rhythmic tracking has overwhelmingly focused on the analysis of one musical source, but not on the interaction of performing musicians. This research's focus is on the latter. The results show that performers are able to adapt to different delay conditions anticipating each other's beats. This anticipation is believed to be an intrinsic aspect of beat perception. The results are compared to earlier studies and new metrics are proposed that consider the alternating interaction between musicians. This approach also adopts phase dynamics using stroboscopic mapping. An integrated model for tracking and generating rhythmic interactions between two performers is also presented. This model uses coupled adaptive oscillators and includes an anticipation and reaction parameter that is shown to be critical to understand rhythmic synchronization with delay. We show how this model compares to the experimental data and use it to explain some common observations in rhythmic performance with delay.
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In the recent past music has become ubiquitous as digital data. The scale of music collections in some online music services surpasses ten million tracks. This significant growth and resulting changes in the music content industry pose challenges in terms of efficient and effective content search, retrieval and organization. The most common approach to these needs involves the use of text-based metadata or user data. However, limitations of these methods, such as popularity bias, have prompted research in content-based methods that use audio data directly. The content-based methods are generally composed of two processing modules--extracting features from audio and training a system using the features and ground truth. The audio features, the main interest of this thesis, are conventionally designed in a highly engineered manner based on acoustic knowledge, such as in mel-frequency cepstral coefficients (MFCCs) or chroma. As an alternative approach, there is increasing interest in learning features automatically from data without relying on domain knowledge or manual refinement. This feature representation approach has been studied primarily in the areas of computer vision or speech recognition. In this thesis, we investigate the learning-based feature representation with applications to content-based music information retrieval. Specifically, we suggest a data processing pipeline to effectively learn short-term acoustic dependencies from musical signals and build a song-level feature for music genre classification and music annotation/retrieval. While visualizing the learned acoustics patterns, we will attempt to interpret how they are associated with high-level musical semantics such as genre, emotion or song quality. Through a detailed analysis, we will show the effect of individual processing units in the pipeline and meta parameters of learning algorithms on performance. In addition to these tasks, we also examine the feature learning approach for classification-based piano transcriptions. Throughout experiments on popularly used datasets, we will show that the learned feature representations achieve results comparable to state-of-the-art algorithms or outperform them.
In the recent past music has become ubiquitous as digital data. The scale of music collections in some online music services surpasses ten million tracks. This significant growth and resulting changes in the music content industry pose challenges in terms of efficient and effective content search, retrieval and organization. The most common approach to these needs involves the use of text-based metadata or user data. However, limitations of these methods, such as popularity bias, have prompted research in content-based methods that use audio data directly. The content-based methods are generally composed of two processing modules--extracting features from audio and training a system using the features and ground truth. The audio features, the main interest of this thesis, are conventionally designed in a highly engineered manner based on acoustic knowledge, such as in mel-frequency cepstral coefficients (MFCCs) or chroma. As an alternative approach, there is increasing interest in learning features automatically from data without relying on domain knowledge or manual refinement. This feature representation approach has been studied primarily in the areas of computer vision or speech recognition. In this thesis, we investigate the learning-based feature representation with applications to content-based music information retrieval. Specifically, we suggest a data processing pipeline to effectively learn short-term acoustic dependencies from musical signals and build a song-level feature for music genre classification and music annotation/retrieval. While visualizing the learned acoustics patterns, we will attempt to interpret how they are associated with high-level musical semantics such as genre, emotion or song quality. Through a detailed analysis, we will show the effect of individual processing units in the pipeline and meta parameters of learning algorithms on performance. In addition to these tasks, we also examine the feature learning approach for classification-based piano transcriptions. Throughout experiments on popularly used datasets, we will show that the learned feature representations achieve results comparable to state-of-the-art algorithms or outperform them.
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The focus of this dissertation is the two most prominent female figures in the German Democratic Republic's musical community, opera director Ruth Berghaus (1927--1996) and composer Ruth Zechlin (1926--2007). In particular, it explores how their status as women and as East Germans informed their creative output, as well as their self-image as artists, the creative opportunities available to them, and expectations and responses to their art. Like all artists, they were required to adhere to the tenets of socialist realism. As women, they were expected to reject gender differences, in accordance with the gender-neutral worldview set forth by the GDR's constitution. Drawing on a large amount of archival material, I reconstruct Berghaus's and Zechlin's relationships to GDR cultural and gender politics, showing how these changed through time. In doing so, my dissertation provides an in-depth examination of how political and gender tensions animated the musical environment and, more generally, the arts in the GDR. My study is divided into three parts, each of which contains two chapters. Part I centers on Zechlin's and Berghaus's works from the 1960s and 1970s. Chapter one examines Zechlin's opera "Reineke Fuchs" (1968) and chapter two Berghaus's stagings of Paul Dessau's "Einstein" (1974) and Wagner's "Rheingold" (1979), both with an emphasis on Zechlin's and Berghaus's relationships with socialist politics. In these works and their reception, gender issues did not play a central role, since Berghaus and Zechlin, as well as their audiences and critics, subscribed to state-supported view of gender equality. Part II focuses on the 1980s, a decade that saw a new generation of female artists who began to critique both the failings and the unintended consequences of state-mandated gender equality and the erasure of difference between masculine and feminine values and social roles. This strain of GDR "feminism" appeared namely in East German literature, particularly the works of renowned novelists Christa Wolf and Irmtraud Morgner. In the two chapters of this section, on Zechlin's ballet "La Vita" (1985) and Berghaus's stagings of Berlioz's "Les Troyens" (1983) and Mozart's "Don Giovanni" (1984, 1985), I show how Zechlin and Berghaus responded to the rise of this new, difference-validating type of feminism in GDR literature, in part by foregrounding themes of women's sexual repression and exploitation, vulnerability to male violence, and motherhood in their works. In fact, Berghaus went so far as to borrow from Wolf's novels. Reviewers situated both Berghaus and Zechlin in this new trend and started emphasizing their gender. Part III addresses selected works from the post-Wende period, namely Berghaus's staging of Wolfgang von Schweinitz's "Patmos" (1990) and Zechlin's operas "Die Reise" (1998) and "Elissa" (2005). In this section, I illustrate how GDR politics and tensions between gender-neutral and feminine worldviews continued to shape their production and reception even after German Reunification.
The focus of this dissertation is the two most prominent female figures in the German Democratic Republic's musical community, opera director Ruth Berghaus (1927--1996) and composer Ruth Zechlin (1926--2007). In particular, it explores how their status as women and as East Germans informed their creative output, as well as their self-image as artists, the creative opportunities available to them, and expectations and responses to their art. Like all artists, they were required to adhere to the tenets of socialist realism. As women, they were expected to reject gender differences, in accordance with the gender-neutral worldview set forth by the GDR's constitution. Drawing on a large amount of archival material, I reconstruct Berghaus's and Zechlin's relationships to GDR cultural and gender politics, showing how these changed through time. In doing so, my dissertation provides an in-depth examination of how political and gender tensions animated the musical environment and, more generally, the arts in the GDR. My study is divided into three parts, each of which contains two chapters. Part I centers on Zechlin's and Berghaus's works from the 1960s and 1970s. Chapter one examines Zechlin's opera "Reineke Fuchs" (1968) and chapter two Berghaus's stagings of Paul Dessau's "Einstein" (1974) and Wagner's "Rheingold" (1979), both with an emphasis on Zechlin's and Berghaus's relationships with socialist politics. In these works and their reception, gender issues did not play a central role, since Berghaus and Zechlin, as well as their audiences and critics, subscribed to state-supported view of gender equality. Part II focuses on the 1980s, a decade that saw a new generation of female artists who began to critique both the failings and the unintended consequences of state-mandated gender equality and the erasure of difference between masculine and feminine values and social roles. This strain of GDR "feminism" appeared namely in East German literature, particularly the works of renowned novelists Christa Wolf and Irmtraud Morgner. In the two chapters of this section, on Zechlin's ballet "La Vita" (1985) and Berghaus's stagings of Berlioz's "Les Troyens" (1983) and Mozart's "Don Giovanni" (1984, 1985), I show how Zechlin and Berghaus responded to the rise of this new, difference-validating type of feminism in GDR literature, in part by foregrounding themes of women's sexual repression and exploitation, vulnerability to male violence, and motherhood in their works. In fact, Berghaus went so far as to borrow from Wolf's novels. Reviewers situated both Berghaus and Zechlin in this new trend and started emphasizing their gender. Part III addresses selected works from the post-Wende period, namely Berghaus's staging of Wolfgang von Schweinitz's "Patmos" (1990) and Zechlin's operas "Die Reise" (1998) and "Elissa" (2005). In this section, I illustrate how GDR politics and tensions between gender-neutral and feminine worldviews continued to shape their production and reception even after German Reunification.
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This dissertation is comprised of the musical composition "That Is Only A Mirror..." as well as this introductory paper that goes into a brief account of its thematic ideas and their compositional use. "That Is Only A Mirror..." is approximately 10 minutes in duration. It was composed for the New York-based new music group the Talea Ensemble and is scored for flute, oboe, Bb clarinet, Bb trumpet, trombone, percussion, piano, violin, viola, and cello. The piece is explores the question of what constitutes identity by inviting the comparison of nearly indistinguishable yet continually varied and recontextualized musical materials. Comparison and contextualization of simultaneous, sequential, and delayed placements of variously derived musical sound objects (i.e. musical materials) in time is the primary means of exploring this issue in the piece.
This dissertation is comprised of the musical composition "That Is Only A Mirror..." as well as this introductory paper that goes into a brief account of its thematic ideas and their compositional use. "That Is Only A Mirror..." is approximately 10 minutes in duration. It was composed for the New York-based new music group the Talea Ensemble and is scored for flute, oboe, Bb clarinet, Bb trumpet, trombone, percussion, piano, violin, viola, and cello. The piece is explores the question of what constitutes identity by inviting the comparison of nearly indistinguishable yet continually varied and recontextualized musical materials. Comparison and contextualization of simultaneous, sequential, and delayed placements of variously derived musical sound objects (i.e. musical materials) in time is the primary means of exploring this issue in the piece.
Book
1 online resource.
This portfolio comprises of three works composed over the course of the dissertation period. The first is called, "alluvium, " for alto flute, bass clarinet and cello. The second piece is a string quartet called "vertebrae." The final piece, "paralipomena, " is scored for a mixed ensemble of eight.
This portfolio comprises of three works composed over the course of the dissertation period. The first is called, "alluvium, " for alto flute, bass clarinet and cello. The second piece is a string quartet called "vertebrae." The final piece, "paralipomena, " is scored for a mixed ensemble of eight.
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20. Bestiario Onirico [2011]

Music score
1 score (v, 76 p.) ; 44 cm.
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