Evaluating perceptual separation in a pilot system for affective composition
Williams, D., Kirke, A., Miranda, E., Daly, I., Roesch, E., Weaver, J. and Nasuto, S. (2014) Evaluating perceptual separation in a pilot system for affective composition. In: The joint Sound and Music Computing Conference and International Computer Music Conference, 14 - 20 Sept 2014 , Athens, Greece.
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Research evaluating perceptual responses to music has identified many structural features as correlates that might be incorporated in computer music systems for affectively charged algorithmic composition and/or expressive music performance. In order to investigate the possible integration of isolated musical features to such a system, a discrete feature known to correlate some with emotional responses – rhythmic density – was selected from a literature review and incorporated into a prototype system. This system produces variation in rhythm density via a transformative process. A stimulus set created using this system was then subjected to a perceptual evaluation. Pairwise comparisons were used to scale differences between 48 stimuli. Listener responses were analysed with Multidimensional scaling (MDS). The 2-Dimensional solution was then rotated to place the stimuli with the largest range of variation across the horizontal plane. Stimuli with variation in rhythmic density were placed further from the source material than stimuli that were generated by random permutation. This, combined with the striking similarity between the MDS scaling and that of the 2-dimensional emotional model used by some affective algorithmic composition systems, suggests that isolated musical feature manipulation can now be used to parametrically control affectively charged automated composition in a larger system.