CRBLM Talk by Dr. Joseph Plazak
The size code: Affective interactions of musical pitch and timbre
Abstract: The auditory system is capable of estimating the “size” of a perceived sound source, specifically from biological sounds such as human or animal vocalizations. Consistent with theories of speech paralanguage, recent research implicates that sound source size may be useful as a general attribute of musical timbre, and further, that sound source size may play a role in perceived emotional responses to music. This talk discusses recent empirical findings on the role of the “size code” within music perception, and explores the importance of pitch and timbre interactions for understanding emotional communication via music.
Bio: Joseph Plazak is a music theorist and researcher at Illinois Wesleyan University (Bloomington, IL, USA). In 2014, he was awarded a junior faculty research grant that facilitated an opportunity to investigate the musical “Size Code” at McGill University. Plazak’s research investigates similarities between music and speech-related paralanguage, and draws connections between the biological mechanisms of perception and associated human affective responses.