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Re: [AUDITORY] Research Question

Hi Rita,

A few years ago I was teaching a small group of children about music,
and I decided to play scary sounds for them to see what their reaction
would be. Actually I should say "musical scary sounds", because these
sounds were performed by musical instruments. Among the ones I chose
were the sounds accompanying the shower scene from the movie Psycho 
and the shark scene from the movie Jaws. While these scenes were 
fairly terrifying for movie viewers, and the music accompaniments 
obviously increased the terror feeling, without the visual aspect and 
the story context, the children's responses were that the sounds were 
simply humorous, i.e., they caused laughter.

Any sounds of human or possibly animal anguish should certainly be
terrifying and shouldn't need any context to be so. Possibly sounds
of car or airplane crashes would be terrifying.

These days it's possible to synthesize any sound with computer 
methods, so it's hard to distinguish between what is real and what
is synthetic. Good luck on your project!

Best wishes,

James W. Beauchamp                                                
Research Professor
Professor Emeritus of Music and Electrical & Computer Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
email: jwbeauch@xxxxxxxxxxxx (also: jwbeauch@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx)
WWW:  http://cmp.music.illinois.edu/beaucham

Rita Mccarthy wrote:
>From: "ULStudent:RITA.MC CARTHY" <14151421@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2017 11:20:34 +0000
>To: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>Subject: Research Question
>Hi Guys,
>I am in my final year in the University of Limerick, so this year I have
>had to come up with a final year project, mine is, "Is it possible to
>make synthetic sounds sound real and also, can they carry the same
>affect of emotion to the listener as the real deal would?" This is all
>in the horror genre. I have had to gather some horror sounds to work
>with but I would also like other peoples opinion on what is considered
>a scary sound to them. By the end of my fourth year I will hopefully
>have an installation here at my university, where the listener sits in
>a dark room, 3D sound, so speakers on high, mid and low level of the
>walls, and a narrative sound design playing around them.
>So my question is to you, what is a sound that you find chilling/scary?
>I would appreciate any feedback you could give me.
>Kind Regards,