Thesis!!

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My Master thesis (also available here) has been accepted, thankfully, despite my supervisor noticing typos hours before the final version was due. If anyone is curious, feel free to take a look. Some sections are expected to be adapting for future publications (at least one currently in the works) while others open the door for new directions of research into how we experience music, second-by-second.

Title:

Quantifying the temporal dynamics of music listening: A critical investigation of analysis techniques for collections of continuous responses to music

Abstract:

Continuous response measurement offers a data-rich trace of a listener’s experiences of music in time. Listeners’ responses are most often studied in collections—each a set of time series of the same response measure to the same stimulus from multiple listenings. Inter-response variability and the challenges of time series analysis complicate the interpretation of these collections. This thesis describes traditional and novel methods of analyzing collections of continuous responses to music with the goal of identifying what information can be found in these collections before trying to establish possible relationships to the features of the stimulating music. Besides mathematical investigations of these analysis meth- ods, their potential outcomes are assessed by applying each to forty experimental collections of continuous rating responses and four artificial collections of unrelated continuous rating responses. The traditional analyses studied include the average response time series and Pearson correlations between continuous responses as a measure of response reliability. The chapter on novel techniques introduces activity analysis and coordination tests, evaluates measures of the relative significance of time points in these collection, and applies cluster analysis in search of distinct patterns of response to the same stimuli. The results of these analyses suggest that though music does not provoke the same continuous response from all listeners, musical works can induce distinct and repeatable listening experiences which are measurable in collections of continuous responses.

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