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New Music Concepts 2017

A Perceptual Assessment of Sound in Distant Genres of Today’s Experimental Music

Part of the New Music Concepts book series (NMC volume 4)

Author(s): Riccardo Wanke

Abstract: This paper enquires into the ways in which listeners perceive certain practices of today’s experimental music. Trained and untrained listeners evaluate short musical excerpts coming from post–spectral and contemporary compositions (G. F. Haas), as well as glitch and electronic music (Pan Sonic) but all belonging to a recognized aesthetic frame of references. The work explores the potential of semantic descriptors to define sound and examines the ability of participants to sort audio samples, express criteria and recognize common sonic characteristics. Moreover it reveals the difficulties that lie in expressing our perception of experimental music. In applying perceptual surveys for the development of comparative methods in musicology, this article shows that the recognition of a cross–genres perspective could pass through perceptual and empirical studies.

Keywords: cross–genres studies, experimental music, listening survey, sound perception