Re: Eliot Handelman on K&D

Subject: Re: Eliot Handelman on K&D
From: Eliot Handelman (
Date: Sun Jun 27 2004 - 23:24:38 EDT

John Nowak wrote:

> I'd like to see a summary as well.
> - John 2
> On Jun 27, 2004, at 6:21 PM, John Oliver wrote:
>> John

BRAMS is Brain, Music, and Sound. Someone observed that montreal has
become the de facto
music science capital of the world. In fact major economic forces seem
behind all this, but
I'm too sketchy to report on that aspect. Don MacLean, dean of mcgill
music, gave an opening
talk that I missed. One aspect of the workshop was to see how to nudge
music and science
towards each other.

I missed the whole morning, in particular Doug Eck's talk,
"Repetition is hard: an autocorrelation-based model for learning to compose
music with repetitive structure" which I gather went well. I talked to
Doug a bit
and I promosed to read his papers which I still haven't. We argued about
hierarchy (I say music isn't hierarchical -- I think music is about
parallel relations that
don't nest.)

Dan Levitin (McGill University)
Music processing in individuals with Williams syndrome

I missed most of this one. williams syndrome is
an afflication that gets you an iq of 67 and the poetic powers of
a genius. They turn out to be musically very gifted as well.

Stephen McAdams (STMS-IRCAM-CNRS, France)
Real-time emotional response to contemporary music in a live concert setting

McAdams is on his way to Montreal to work at CCRMT I think. He said that
classical music theory is "outside of experienced time," whereas he's
in "experienced time" analysis which he researched by commissioning
roger reynolds to
write an orchestral piece called "angel of death" which was presented in
the Pompidou
centre auditorium with 150 gadgets dispersed in the audience to measre
audience response.
The sliders generated midi. The audience could respond along two
dimensions: emotion and
segmenting. If they felt an emotion they pushed one lever up. If they
detected a phrase
boundary, they pushed another lever up. The results were not surprising.
But this work was
highly unusual in bringing in something like "real professional modern
music" into the fray
whereas in the past experimenters might have tended not to venture past
o susanna. So this
reflects an interesting turn.

Among the poster presentations I found Brad Vines' work on how visual
gesture influences
music hearing interesting, though problematic. Brad got a slider going
which was marked
"tension" which soimeone would have to operate while watching a
clarinetist with no sound, or
with sound, or with no image, or with the wrong gestures. The music
used was one of stravinsky's
clarinet pieces. I found the data a little difficult to interpret -- eg,
visual tension seemed always
to ramp upwards no matter what the guy did, and in the end I'm not sure
what we mean by tension.
It seems like a potentailly interesting field but I think the kinds of
problems being
investigated need to be much more clearly specified -- as with McAdams'

Caroline Palmer (McGill University)
Thinking ahead and moving ahead in music performance

This involved a tremendous demo of motion analysis in a pianist's hands,
using a
purple VR alien 3d hand. Caroline is interested in how sequences are
and in this experiment she studied how the fingers prepare for movement.
I'd like
to see this go towards computer modelling of whole physical musical

Isabelle Peretz (Université de Montréal)
Tone-deafness in a possessor of absolute pitch

Isabelle got someone with an MA in flute performance who has
absolute pitch and yet he's tone deaf. His "happy birthday"
is totally unrecognizable. But when he sings it with solfege
syllables it comes out right. So what's going on. Various ideas
were proposed. One person suggested that the syllables in solfege
interfered with his pitch processing when they were;t on key, which I agree
with. I suggested to Isabelle that it might involve a music/language
conflict that could be tested by having him play flute while
engaged in some music task and finding out if he can. Of all music/science
I'm aware of, I find Isabelle's investigations most interesting.

so that's my impressionistic review. There were many posters I scanned
and don't remember. Clearly the field is wide open. It was an enjoyable
afternoon but I skipped to the final concert in order to get a smoked meat

-- eliot

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