I'm far to lazy to read that right now.
I'm far to lazy to read that right now.
i found this hard to follow
From the page: One thing the Fifth Symphony taught us is how to hear those first four notes. The surface form is just: descending major third, first tone repeated thrice. At first, that pattern can be heard two different ways:
Fifth and third in minor mode, or
Third and tonic in major mode.
But once we have heard the symphony, the latter is unthinkable-a strange constraint to plant in all our heads!
I plan to read this eventually.
"A popular song has 100 measures, 1000 beats. What must the Martians imagine we mean by those measures and beats, measures and beats! The words themselves reveal an awesome repetitiousness. Why isn't music boring?
Is hearing so like seeing that we need a hundred glances to build each musical image? Some repetitive musical textures might serve to remind us of things that persist through time like wind and stream. But many sounds occur only once: we must hear a pin drop now or seek and search for it; this is one reason why we have no ear-lids. Poetry drops pins, it says each thing just once or not at all. So does some music.
Then why do we tolerate music's relentless rhythmic pulse or other repetitive architectural features? There is no one answer, for we hear in different ways, on different scales. Some of those ways portray the spans of time directly, but others speak of musical 'things', in worlds where time folds over on itself. And there, I think, is where we use those beats and measures. Music's metric frames are transient templates used for momentary matching. Its rhythms are "synchronization pulses" used to match new phrases against old, the better to contrast them with differences and change. As differences and change are sensed, the rhythmic frames fade from our awareness. Their work is done and the messages of higher-level agents never speak of them; that is why metric music is not boring!" (excerpted)
Stumbled upon at Inez.
How can this not be interesting?
from Computer Music Journal 1981
a little bit old, maybe an abstract would have been nice?
An attempt to understand why we humans like music.
From the page: "Why do we like music? We all are reluctant, with regard to music and art, to examine our sources of pleasure or strength. In part we fear success itself- we fear that understanding might spoil enjoyment. Rightly so: art often loses power when its psychological roots are exposed. No matter; when this happens we will go on, as always, to seek more robust illusions!
I feel that music theory has gotten stuck by trying too long to find universals. Of course, we would like to study Mozart's music the way scientists analyze the spectrum of a distant star. Indeed, we find some almost universal practices in every musical era. But we must view these with suspicion, for they might show no more than what composers then felt should be universal. If so, the search for truth in art becomes a travesty in which each era's practice only parodies its predecessor's prejudice. Imagine formulating "laws" for television screenplays, taking them for natural phenomenon uninfluenced by custom or constraint of commerce.
The trouble with the search for universal laws of thought is that both memory and thinking interact and grow together. We do not just learn about things, we learn ways to think about things; then we can learn to think about thinking itself. Before long, our ways of thinking become so complicated that we cannot expect to understand their details in terms of their surface operation, but we might understand the principles that guide their growth. In much of this article I will speculate about how listening to music engages the previously acquired personal knowledge of the listener."
it's a nice paper, but i have to complain that it wasn't written well...
DirtyPenguin sent me this, and I shall have to read it in detail. So far it's extraordinarily intriguing. This is the kind of stuff I like thinking about.