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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/158807
- A systematic method for describing and cataloguing percussive sounds, based on spectral, temporal and perceputal criteria
- Bell, Robert; Bartel, Anthony; Barrass, Stephen
- 'Percussive Sound' may be considered as the audible result of objects engaging in collision, such as striking, scraping or shaking. The range of sounds created by the gamut of percussion instruments and struck found objects is vast, and the timbral variety of percussion is of interest to acoustic researchers and musicians alike. However such a varied body of sounds poses challenges when attempting to effectively describe them between peers, compare sounds between each other, and catalogue samples in sound libraries. The body of research published in the acoustics literature uses terms and methods that are complex, scientific and mathematical. Conversely, simple or arbitrary 'sounds-like' descriptions used in everyday language are often subjective, experientially based and prone to misinterpretation. The authors seek to find a compromise between the two with a systematic, analytical approach to concisely and objectively describing all percussive sounds - and the objects that create them - that may be applied to sample libraries and databases. The approach is based on a lexicon of semantic descriptors and broadly quantized values (where appropriate) that describe percussive sounds in ways that are useful and meaningful to musicians, composers, sound designers, sound library curators and physics students. The content of the lexicon is based on a set of 39 Attributes of percussive sound, each of which contains between 2 and 100+ descriptors; in total there are approximately 600. The Attributes and their associated terminology are mostly drawn from elementary physics and musicology, with some everyday terms drawn from (English) natural language where appropriate. The lexicon is organized hierarchically into categories and sub-categories to assist end users to (a) efficiently navigate the hundreds of descriptors listed, and (b) target only those Attributes and descriptors of interest at any given time.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology
- International Journal of Arts and Sciences, Vol. 3, no. 9 (2010), pp. 240-251
- Publication year
- International Journal of Arts and Sciences
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © InternationalJournal.org