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Evelyn Glennie and the nature of hearing

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Anonymous
May 20, 2005 4:21:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

There's an established assumption in audio that we listen only with our
ears, that hearing is uniform experience across and the fundamentals of the
physical perception are well understood and documented.

Then there is someone like Evelyn Glennie;

Virtuoso percussionist Evelyn Glennie recently performed in Vancouver
Canada. Glennie is profoundly deaf - though born with normal hearing she
became deaf at the age of 12. Glennie had little or no musical training
before becoming deaf (unlike other famous deaf musicians like Beethoven or
Smetana). Glennie reports being able to sense music (without hearing)
through her chest, on her face and through her feet (she performs barefoot).
Other than being deaf there is nothing about Glennie to suggest she is
atypical in this regard.



In an interview with the Vancouver Sun Glennie made an interesting
observation on the nature of "hearing vs "listening""





"[She] reads lips flawlessly. Glennie recalls a recital in which she
performed with pianist Philip Smith.



'When I play with my pianist, I need to hear the piano - so I wear a certain
kind of ear monitor. Afterwards a man came up to me and said "So you are not
completely deaf then?' And I said 'no, you'd have to be dead to be
completely deaf'



'SO you can hear something?' he said and I said 'yes I can hear'. So we just
went round and round like that, it was a difficult conversation.



'As far as she was concerned says Glennie the man was disabled because
although he could hear - the man wasn't listening.'"


Vancouver Sun May 17, 2005

Do we know all we need to know about how we perceive sound? As I understand
the basic model of hearing was constructed using tests where hearing was
exclusively through headphones. Is there more to the perception of sound
than what our ears tell us? How might this effect our understanding of audio
reproduction?
Anonymous
May 21, 2005 4:36:40 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Ralph Heidecke" <heidecke@shaw.ca> wrote in message
news:D 6jaht0vkh@news2.newsguy.com...
> There's an established assumption in audio that we listen only with our
> ears, that hearing is uniform experience across and the fundamentals of
the
> physical perception are well understood and documented.
>
> Then there is someone like Evelyn Glennie;
>
> Virtuoso percussionist Evelyn Glennie recently performed in Vancouver
> Canada. Glennie is profoundly deaf - though born with normal hearing she
> became deaf at the age of 12. Glennie had little or no musical training
> before becoming deaf (unlike other famous deaf musicians like Beethoven or
> Smetana). Glennie reports being able to sense music (without hearing)
> through her chest, on her face and through her feet (she performs
barefoot).
> Other than being deaf there is nothing about Glennie to suggest she is
> atypical in this regard.
>
>
>
> In an interview with the Vancouver Sun Glennie made an interesting
> observation on the nature of "hearing vs "listening""
>
>
>
>
>
> "[She] reads lips flawlessly. Glennie recalls a recital in which she
> performed with pianist Philip Smith.
>
>
>
> 'When I play with my pianist, I need to hear the piano - so I wear a
certain
> kind of ear monitor. Afterwards a man came up to me and said "So you are
not
> completely deaf then?' And I said 'no, you'd have to be dead to be
> completely deaf'
>
>
>
> 'SO you can hear something?' he said and I said 'yes I can hear'. So we
just
> went round and round like that, it was a difficult conversation.
>
>
>
> 'As far as she was concerned says Glennie the man was disabled because
> although he could hear - the man wasn't listening.'"
>
>
> Vancouver Sun May 17, 2005
>
> Do we know all we need to know about how we perceive sound? As I
understand
> the basic model of hearing was constructed using tests where hearing was
> exclusively through headphones. Is there more to the perception of sound
> than what our ears tell us? How might this effect our understanding of
audio
> reproduction?
>

One of the conundrums posed by the Oohashi test of ultrasonic frequencies.
Conventional wisdom suggests it can't be "heard", Arny Kruger and many other
objectivists insist it must have "folded down" into the top end of the
audible frequencies, and Oohashi said he and his band of researchers simply
didn't know how it was sensed. The ultrasonic frequencies, when present,
resulted in more pleasant musical playback as rated by testees after
exposure. But it also created a response from the pleasure center of the
brain that ordinary cd type reproduction (or no music at all) did not.
Oohashi "wondered" whether or not their could have been direct absorption by
the body of those ultrasonic frequencies.

My own personal hunch is that it cleaned up the high frequency square wave
response and that this was perceived (pleasurably) by the body as "better
sounding sound". But what do I know. ;-`
Anonymous
May 21, 2005 4:41:01 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Do we know all we need to know about how we perceive sound? As I
understand
the basic model of hearing was constructed using tests where hearing was
exclusively through headphones. Is there more to the perception of sound
than what our ears tell us? How might this effect our understanding of
audio
reproduction?"

There is more,ex. bone conduction, in the way we percieve sound. The
eardrum model was mapped out using headphones for some things and external
sound sources for others. For such things as frequencies headphones
exclude various confounding factors. For directional cues they can be
used but require electronic manipulation of the signal so external sound
sources in a controlled context is useful to exclude factors.

This question is often posed in the context of trying to understand why
claims of hearing various things in audio reproduction contexts fail to be
confirmed when tested. A far more fruteful area to answer that question
lies in the perception process of the brain once the signal has reached it
and how it manipulates the experience to seem to add things not in the
content of the signal as it reaches the ear.

This latter approach is more consistant with other areas of research about
other perception questions. They long ago concluded that the signal can
so easily be affected by information held in the brain that testing
controls to exclude corrupting results are routinely put in place. Until
something not now known about signals can be shown, then the question is
probably no there is nothing about hearing at the ear interface but most
surely how it affects the perception centers of the brain.
Anonymous
May 21, 2005 6:51:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Harry Lavo" <hlavo@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:D 6lvqo0oql@news2.newsguy.com...

>snip<

> My own personal hunch is that it cleaned up the high frequency square
wave
> response and that this was perceived (pleasurably) by the body as "better
> sounding sound". But what do I know. ;-`
>

I meant to say and should have said "high frequency transient response", not
"high frequency square wave". Realized it as soon as I hit the send button.
Sorry.
!