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Hearing impaired people’s habits and abilities to listen to music in concert situations

The Coctail Party Effect & Music Listening
Hearing impaired people’s habits and abilities to listen to music in concert situations

A report by
Georgios Koutsouris
October 21, 2012
Department of Acoustic Technology, Technical University of Denmark
And Department of Art and Cultural Sciences, Lund University

CPE

The present study is linked to the concept of the cocktail party effect in music

and how much is related to age and hearing loss. The cocktail party effect (CPE)

was introduced in 1953 by Cherry [1], describing human’s listening ability to selec-

tively focus on a specific sound source in a noisy environment. Essentially it can

be considered as the mechanism that releases human hearing from masking. The

CPE is a psychoacoustic phenomenon that has received considerable attention after

Cherry’s pioneering work, not only in the field of acoustics, but also in physiology,

neurobiology, psychophysiology, cognitive psychology, biophysics, computer science

and engineering.

In this report the music listening habits and abilities of hearing impaired people

are investigated by a novel listening experiment. Inspired by the common adaptive

processes, widely used in psychoacoustics, a music listening experiment is developed

where a new selection of musical instruments of an orchestra is chosen at every

round of the experiment. The subject’s goal is to detect a specific instrument of

the orchestra among the a others. This specific instrument is given the name target

instrument.

The listening experiment proposed in this report can be further used for other

type of music studies or educational purposes. The way of handling the musical

instruments in the orchestra together with the task of detecting the target instrument

could be used as a valuable training or examination tool for music students, especially

in the fields of composition, orchestration and conducting, where a high level of

perception of the sound of musical instruments is required.

 

Read the full report here

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