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Music cognition student colloquium series 2014/2015 - second meeting

  • Music Cognition Student Colloquium
When Nov 20, 2014
from 05:00 PM to 06:30 PM
Where A410, New Music Building, 527 Sherbrooke St. West. (enter through the library on the 3rd floor)
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Second Music Cognition Student Colloquium meeting of the 2014/2015 academic year

The CIRMMT Music Cognition Student Colloquium is a forum open to all graduate students and post-docs interested in  discussing their work with a wider audience. All contributions related to music cognition and auditory perception are welcome, including work in progress, papers presented at recent conferences and those to be presented at forthcoming conferences. 

Wine and cheese to follow




Benjamin G. Schultz (Post-doctoral fellow, BRAMS, Université de Montréal) & Caroline Palmer (McGill University):

Keeping the beat: How musicians and non-musicians use auditory feedback

When musical ensembles perform together, performers must be able to synchronize with co-performers and maintain the same beat. We examined how musicians and non-musicians use auditory feedback to maintain a regular beat. In a synchronization-continuation paradigm, two participants synchronized with a metronome for 12 beats then continued to tap at the same rate after the metronome stopped. Auditory feedback was manipulated such that participants would hear one of the following: No Feedback, Self Feedback, Other Feedback, or Full Feedback. Cross-correlational analyses were conducted to examine the degree to which participants kept the beat of the metronome and also coordinated with their partner. In Experiment 1, pairs of musicians (N=20) were better at keeping the metronome beat with any feedback than with no feedback. Moreover, musicians synchronized with their partner more when other feedback was present compared to when it was absent. In Experiment 2, pairs of non-musicians (N=20) were better at keeping the beat of the metronome when self feedback was present and were least able to keep the beat when other feedback was present. Non-musicians also synchronized with their partner more when other feedback was present compared to when it was absent. In Experiment 3, mixed pairs (N=20) showed that non-musicians were better able to keep the beat in the presence of other self and other feedback but musicians’ ability to keep the beat was impaired compared to self feedback. Musicians and non-musicians spontaneously synchronized with each other when other feedback was present. Results indicate that musicians are better at keeping the beat than non-musicians, and musicians and non-musicians both use self feedback to maintain the beat. Furthermore, both musicians and non-musicians spontaneously synchronize to a partner when keeping the beat, even at the cost of beat stability. 


Jochen Steffens (Post-doctoral fellow, Multimodal Interaction Laboratory, McGill University):

New insights into soundscape evaluations using the experience sampling method 

Everyday sound evaluations are governed by many factors, and thus can barely be investigated under laboratory conditions. Therefore, the Experience Sampling Method (ESM) will be introduced as a tool to collect longitudinal data of people while they are naturally acting within their everyday environment. We conducted a 7-day ESM study to investigate the relationship between momentary and retrospective soundscape judgments. In the course of the study, participants were asked to evaluate their soundscape 10 times a day and report on their mood, activity at-hand, and the degree of attention paid to the soundscape. Additionally, they performed summary retrospective judgments at the end of each day. Preliminary results with 15 participants show that daily retrospective judgments of soundscape pleasantness can be predicted by the average and the linear trend of the momentary judgments and the person’s mood while performing the judgment. Moreover, direct and moderating effects of the situational variables (e.g. attention, activity) on momentary judgments were observed. The results of this case study provide new insights into the complex interplay of psychological factors in soundscape perception and therefore demonstrate that the ESM indeed is a strong tool to capture reactions to environmental sounds as they occur. 


Peter Plessas (PhD student in sound and music computing, KUG/IEM Graz):

Charting Sound Transformations in Contemporary Music through Language Adjectives

I am reporting on work in-progress exploring the description of creative sound transformations using language adjectives. Contemporary music pieces featuring real-time DSP transformation of acoustic instruments mostly lack verbal description methods for the notation of such transformations. So far, composers and researchers have largely given either references to the DSP algorithm employed ("ring modulator"), or have encoded these properties inside specific technical implementations, but have given little reference to any sonic and musical quality of the sound transformation itself. I argue that a verbal description would be beneficial to allow musicians playing these transformations as electronic instruments to refer to the desired sonic result notated in the score. A current series of listening interviews with performers, researchers and composers during the last months has produced a body of verbal descriptions given by these subjects using their own words. These descriptions and their bipolar use in subsequent ratings of different stimuli have been deducted and collected using the Repertory Grid Technique based on Personal Construct Psychology by George Kelly. The adaption of this method to the field of study is presented and first preliminary results will be discussed.




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