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Comparative time series analysis of perceptual responses to electroacoustic music

Bailes, Freya; Dean, Roger T.


Freya Bailes

Roger T. Dean


This study investigates the relationship between acoustic patterns in contemporary electroacoustic compositions, and listeners’ real-time perceptions of their structure and affective content. Thirty-two participants varying in musical expertise (nonmusicians, classical musicians, expert computer musicians) continuously rated the affect (arousal and valence) and structure (change in sound) they perceived in four compositions of approximately three minutes duration. Time series analyses tested the hypotheses that sound intensity influences listener perceptions of structure and arousal, and spectral flatness influences perceptions of structure and valence. Results suggest that intensity strongly influences perceived change in sound, and to a lesser extent listener perceptions of arousal. Spectral flatness measures were only weakly related to listener perceptions, and valence was not strongly shaped by either acoustic measure. Differences in response by composition and musical expertise suggest that, particularly with respect to the perception of valence, individual experience (familiarity and liking), and meaningful sound associations mediate perception.


Bailes, F., & Dean, R. T. (2012). Comparative time series analysis of perceptual responses to electroacoustic music. Music Perception, 29(4), 359-375.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 26, 2011
Online Publication Date Apr 1, 2012
Publication Date Apr 1, 2012
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Publicly Available Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Music perception
Print ISSN 0730-7829
Electronic ISSN 1533-8312
Publisher University of California Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 29
Issue 4
Pages 359-375
Keywords Music
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copy of article first published in: Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol. 29 No. 4, April 2012; (pp. 359-375) DOI: 10.1525/mp.2012.29.4.359


Article.pdf (550 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© 2012 by the Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

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