Modelling Music as Input-Output and as Process


One answer to the question “How is such and such a piece of music heard?” is to describe the experience of that piece, with a set of rules for determining what aspects of that experience arise out of what constituents of sound input. Models which do this may be termed “input-output” models. Another answer is to describe the mental processes which give rise to musical percepts. This paper considers the input-output approach to modelling music perception and indicates how a general modelling system could be produced using “frames” linked to the time domain. It then discusses limitations in the input-output approach and outlines features of a system for modelling music-perceptual processes in terms of specialised encoding mechanisms combined with associative memory. Both input- output and process approaches have a part to play in modelling music perception. © 1987, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.