Alexandria Digital Research Library

An Experiment in the Aesthetic Value of Sonified Mathematical Objects

Author:
Mongoven, Casey Patrick
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara. Media Arts and Technology
Degree Supervisor:
Curtis Roads
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
Publisher:
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
2013
Issued Date:
2013
Topics:
Music and Aesthetics
Keywords:
Fibonacci
Golden ratio
Experiment
Music
Sonification
Aesthetics
Genres:
Dissertations, Academic and Online resources
Dissertation:
Ph.D.--University of California, Santa Barbara, 2013
Description:

A central problem in the field of aesthetics is the determination of what we find to be beautiful and why. Since the work of Adolf Zeising and Gustav Theodor Fechner in the mid-nineteenth century, there has been great research interest in determining the potential aesthetic merits of the golden ratio and the Fibonacci sequence. A review of the literature shows that a large body of research exists that studies their aesthetic value in the visual domain. No research has yet been carried out, however, in an attempt to determine their potential merits in the audio domain. This has been due in part to a lack of suitable example stimuli for scientific testing. This dissertation takes the first step in bridging this research gap, guided by the question: Do sonifications of mathematical objects closely related to FS and GR hold some special aesthetic significance or advantage over less closely related sonified mathematical objects? In the most comprehensive survey of its kind, works in which composers are known to have utilized the golden ratio and Fibonacci numbers are shown to be unsuitable for our research purposes, as they were never intended for such research. Methods are then outlined for creating sonifications that can function as the necessary simple example stimuli in experiments. After a presentation of various sonifications related to the golden ratio and Fibonacci sequence, the methodology and results of a novel experiment involving 170 participants are then detailed. In this experiment, subjects were asked to compare the relative aesthetic value of pairs of sonifications of mathematical objects. In each pair, one of the mathematical objects was closely related to the Fibonacci sequence whereas the other was not. The evidence gathered suggests that the utilization of the golden ratio and the Fibonacci sequence could have potentially negative effects on the aesthetic value of sonifications.

Physical Description:
1 online resource (256 pages)
Format:
Text
Collection(s):
UCSB electronic theses and dissertations
ARK:
ark:/48907/f3f18wqc
ISBN:
9781303539794
Catalog System Number:
990040924970203776
Rights:
Inc.icon only.dark In Copyright
Copyright Holder:
Casey Mongoven
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