Auditory Stimulus Design: Musically Informed
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This paper discusses an approach to auditory stimulus design that appropriates concepts and techniques commonly used in music composition. These ideas are used to create referential sound cues that orient a listener along a timeline. The functions these cues serve may include: emphasizing arrival at targeted goals; providing orientation information relative to beginning and end times; or creating a sense of imminent closure indicating a predictive end to an ongoing process. The stimulus used in the pilot study represents this team's first attempt at integrating musical ideas with stimulus design. In an effort to make this stimulus comparable with previously used experimental stimuli, extreme restrictions were placed on the design. Although the resulting stimulus is not to be confused with `music' in the proper sense of that term, it is interesting to note how an extremely restricted set of elements can be manipulated to create an aesthetically satisfactory experience that rivals responses to `real' music in untrained listeners. The application of musical techniques towards the construction of effective auditory stimuli that are, at the same time, rated aesthetically satisfactory by users, is a long-term object of study by this team.