An experimental validation of Temporal Semiotic Units and Parameterized Time Motifs

  • Frey Aline
  • Hautbois Xavier
  • Bootz Philippe
  • Tijus Charles

  • Categorization
  • Temporal Semiotic Units TSU
  • Music perception
  • Musical expertise
  • Parameterized Time Motifs PTM

ART

Nineteen Temporal Semiotic Units (TSU) have been defined by musicians and researchers from the Laboratoire Musique et Informatique de Marseille (MIM) as categories of musical segments that acquire meaning through their temporal organization. The model of Parameterized Time Motifs (PTMs) provides a graphic modelling of TSUs, which is based on temporal functions and allows for their synthesis. The aim of the present study is to validate the model of PTMs through categorization. To do this, musician and non-musician participants were made to listen and group together three kinds of musical segments: TSUs taken from existing musical works, musical segments played on the piano that correspond to TSUs, and TSUs synthesized from the PTM model. Results have shown that each musical segment, whether synthesized from the PTM model or not, was more frequently paired with other segments of the same TSU category than with other TSU segments. No strong effect of musical expertise was observed. Finally, some TSU categories seemed to be more easily identifiable than others. The significance of these results is discussed in regard to the categorization theory and the effect of implicit learning on perception and knowledge.