Sonification abstraite/sonification concrete: An 'aesthetic persepctive space' for classifying auditory displays in the ars musica domain
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This paper discusses æsthetic issues of sonifications and the relationships between sonification (ars informatica) and music & sound art (ars musica). It is posited that many sonifications have suffered from poor internal ecological validity which makes listening more difficult, thereby resulting in poorer data extraction and inference on the part of the listener. Lessons are drawn from the electroacoustic music and musique concr`ete communities as it is argued that it is not instructive to distinguish between sonifications and music/sound art. Edgard Var`ese defined music as organised sound, and sonifications organise sound to reflect mimetically the thing being sonified. Therefore, an æsthetic perspective space onto which sonifications and musical compositions alike can be mapped is proposed. The resultant map allows sonifications to be compared with works in the ars musica domain with which they share characteristics. The æsthetics of those ars musica counterparts can then be interrogated revealing useful design and organisation constructs that can be used to improve the sonifications' communicative ability.