Hoopen, Christiane ten


Perceptions of Sound: Source, cause and human presence in electroacoustic music

PhD Dissertation, Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Language(s): English


Aural Analysis Gesture Visual Representation Acousmatic Causal Listening Source Recognition Texture Timbre


The author focuses on electroacoustic music on a fixed medium, particularly timbre-based works, and seeks to establish a conceptual framework for analysis from the listener’s point of view. Questions include: to what extent might there exist perceptual dilemmas for listeners resulting from a chain of technological developments? One of her key areas of concern is the dissociation of the sound from its source, particularly in acousmatic composition. This can lead to what she calls the ‘intrinsic ambiguity’ of sound material for listeners. She therefore investigates how people normally seek source identity. She speaks of ‘re-presented’ sounds as sounds that are recorded in a recognisable form to the listener and ‘represented’ sounds as sounds that may be perceived as coming from a source, but may not indeed use that source as its material. A second subject involves perception of human presence (eg, gesture) in recorded electroacoustic music. Another concerns analysis of music without prescriptive scores.

Table of contents:

Dilemmas of Analysis
Source Recognition
Human Voices: Real or imaginary
Re-presentation “Contexts” & Conclusion (+ sound examples)

All references of the same author:


Hoopen, Christiane ten (1994a). Issues in Timbre and Perception
Hoopen, Christiane ten (1994b). The music of François Bayle from one listener's point of view: re-presentation versus representation