Re: Fwd: from Eliot who ...

Subject: Re: Fwd: from Eliot who ...
From: Kevin Austin (
Date: Sat Feb 05 2005 - 22:33:20 EST

Thanks. I used integration and segregation in the ASA sense, and did
not (at this time) deal with segmentation (the detection and marking
of boundaries).

While a computer model may be of interest, my recent experiences with
victims of stroke and other forms of brain damage see to reveal
other, perhaps more direct methods. I have me people who ... stutter
badly while speaking but can sing fluently; ... have lost (interest
in) speech but sing along (in foreign languages!) with opera; ... who
have lost the ability to "make sense of" music etc etc.

These are complex issues and are ripe for detailed research.

At 12:57 -0800 2005/02/05, Eliot Handelman wrote:
>Kevin Austin wrote:
>Is it, for instance, like the story of Jack and Jill? Perhaps not.
>Is it necessarily ineffable? Deryck Cooke didn't think so -- ... He
>thinks that music basically is about arousing emotions, for which
>there is, he thinks, a kind of musical language of arousal. I think
>that music sometimes arouses emotion, but not necesarily always --
>... But I think he's right in addressing the issue of the
>existence, whentehr structural or learned, ... And if you asked me,
>I;'d say the ideal way to study this is to try to construct a
>computer model of music-narrating processes, and then test that
>against music.

Spatialization has a pronounced impact on streaming and segregation
in some circumstances. The ensemble performers experience is spatial
by its nature. Today with fewer students learning music through
ensembles, I have found that the "return of space" can assist in
learning to hear and discriminate.

>>My first application in this will be with four (or more) part
>>harmonic dictation where each voice can be heard from a separate
>>speaker ...
>What service is being rendered by this?

Anyone can move a fader, but the voice (as I propose this) would need
to have a separate 'real' channel. I come to my positions from a
couple of decades of teaching a couple of thousand people.

>Anyone can turn up and down a slider on a midi sequencer and isolate
>a voice. I don't see the advantage of placing harmony exercises in

(I haven't been in his seminar but wonder about the use of the word
"hear" in this context.) How neurophysiology deals with the
demodulation of a multiplexed signal supports the idea that 'sounds'
do not carry "information" without the necessary perceptual decoders.

Modern theories of multiplexing grow out Information Theory some 50
years ago, but are well known in practice dating back centuries --
the well-known (and oft discussed) compound melody (Bach Prelude in C

>Al Bregman contended in his perception seminar that we never hear
>more than one line at once -- we can shift our attention as rapidly
>as you like but the operation is still serial.

There are many implications here possibly meaning that while the
incoming stream is multiplexed, is memory also multiplexed, or is it

One way of avoiding the 'partitioning' of memory into several
simultaneous memory areas (which then introduce problems of keeping
them sync'ed together -- but the loss of sychronization is well known
within the study of streaming) is to propose that memory itself is
multiplexed ... possibly leading to (infinite?) regression (unless
there are phase-locked markers -- an idea that could be supported in
the parsing of verbal language).

>What happens if we happen to know exactly what's going on in the
>inside of a 4-part chorale? The central problem for me is "what is a
>line from a musical point of view," not "separate these things about
>which I have nothing to say."

For me, "line from a musical point of view" is a language-specific
issue. My interest in the development of ear-training is at a more
fundamental level than dealing with language constraint.

>>I too felt that the work was over over-conceptualized and under
>>materialized, but that may have been what it was about, in which
>>case, a lot of money could have been put into other projects if
>>there had been even more conceptualization and a great deal less

>Is this resentment, Kevin? Is the world not big enough for this
>other and better piece?

Well of course this is about the allocation of resources! It's been a
major theme of mine for more than 5 decades, and it probably won't
stop now. If the artist can feel free to be critical of society, can
someone not be critical of the society that selects. Maybe there were
no other projects at that time that would have benefited from an
extra $25,000 (or more).



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