From: Alexandra Hettergott (
Date: Wed Nov 24 1999 - 14:19:54 EST

Hi Alyce :
vast subject..., however, two "bibles" I would recommend, for the instant, are :
- Giovanni De Poli, Aldo Piccialli, and Curtis Road (eds.), Representations of
Musical Signals. Cambridge/MA : MIT Press, 1991 ;
- Curtis Roads, Stephen Travis Pope, Aldo Piccialli, Giovanni De Poli (eds.), Musical
Signal Processing, Lisse/NL : Swets & Zeitlinger, 1997.

Alexandra Hettergott.

ps : both publishers are also online

-----Original Message-----
To: <>
Date: Wednesday, November 24, 1999 12:23 PM

>Hello. I'm a third-year Communications student enrolled in a
>first-year EAMT course. I apoligize if this posting presents a
>question which might be overly simplistic to some. However, given
>the discourses that I have read on this email list, I assume that
>I might not have long to wait for an intelligent and concise response.
>Presently I am working on attempting to fully comprehend the utility of
>the spectogram belonging to an EA piece for which I will be making a class
>presentation (and which I previously loaded onto Sound Edit 16 to make
>a printout of the spectogram to be used as a visual aid to my anaysis of
>the EA piece.)
>First, I would appreciate any input offered about spectograms in general,
>but was also hoping for a discourse regarding the various ways to read, to
>specifically interpret and sufficiently use the spectogram (primarily the
>2-D version though I would gladly entertain any comments about what
>different things the 3-D says that the 2-D may not).
>Secondly, I would appreciate your comments about how you feel the waveform
>is/is not more useful (if not at least quite different) than the
>spectogram in terms of the possible different types of information that
>the two representations of sound provide to the novice and/or the
>experienced analyser.
>Thirdly, do you find that the spectogram is useful in terms of analysing
>the frequencies of the sound(s) represented through a piece and/or in
>layers of a particular section of the piece? I ask this because, I'm at
>the point where, though I find the spectogram for this particular piece
>[which is under my analysis] as being rather "visually" interesting, I am
>trying to find significant ways to understand the representational aspects
>of the spectogram so that I may link what I see in the spectogram to
>what I hear in the piece. I would like the link to be much stronger than
>the one that can be seen when the 2-D spectogram and the wave timeline
>for the same piece are placed alogside eachother. I confess that the
>spectogram does reveal the existence of certain "enduring" sounds that are
>heard at specific frequencies. Though this aspect of the spectogram
>makes it more useful than the waveform timeline to me on one level, I feel
>that there should be a lot more to the textured picture than meets my
>eyes. What are the pros and cons of the spectogram/the waveform?
>Please share your knowledge with this very curious observer? Should the
>spectogram/waveform timeline just be used as an outline for a more
>detailed description of the more complex elements that might be happening
>in the piece? If so, what would you suggest (to a student)as a different
>approach to reviewing the textural and sonic characteristics present in a
>piece? (Once analytical listening is done, that is.)
>Thanks in advance! :)

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