Re: CIMESP-Results Fwd:

Subject: Re: CIMESP-Results Fwd:
From: Morgan Sutherland (
Date: Sat Nov 05 2005 - 16:58:30 EST

Could it not be that you simply find a surprise every time you hear the piece?

Regardless, yes, I think it's over simplified, but by adding some
dimensions it makes sense:

You may have had plenty of "surprises" upon first listen. Listening to
it now, those surprises are replaced by nostalgia and deeper analysis.
Nobody (except Stockhausen) ONLY likes music with no predictable
elements. Perhaps it changed from an "unpredictable" piece to a
"predictable" piece over the course of your listening career.

And a clarification. Who said anything about "liking"? The theory
makes sense when "judging" upon first, second, third, and/or tenth
(depending) listen.

Bill kind of developed on what I was trying to say. Maybe the field is
not so focused on innovation anymore. Would you say the goal of modern
impressionist painters is innovation? (I don't know what i'm talking


Things die.

On 11/4/05, Eliot Handelman <> wrote:
> Morgan Sutherland wrote:
> >Yes, I once read an article about the balance between unpredictability
> >and predictability in a piece. Predictability gives the listener a
> >"reward" for guessing what comes next while unpredictability grants a
> >surprise. A "good" piece is categorized by a perfect balance suited
> >for the listener.
> >
> >
> Well, that's an old theory, but I think it's wrong. The problem is that
> we listen to
> pieces we like over and over again and still like them. I know the bach
> a- violin
> concerto pretty well -- I first heard it as a kid an it inspired me to
> take up the violin.
> I've done a ton of computer analysis of it and discovered many things
> about it. I just
> listened to it the other day and I felt "jeez -- this performance is way
> too fast." I still
> get a tremendous kick out of the piece.
> So the goodness can't be that I can predict what's happening or not,
> since I can actually predict
> everything that happens, assuming I've noticed it before. There must be a
> different explanation.
> We don't like things because there's any "balance of predict. etc" --
> there are 4 note tunes we like. There are
> certain chord progressions everybody seems to like because they sound
> dramtic and powerful. The qualities
> we like are clearly found at a very local level.
> Now I'm going to get on my anti-reductionistic horse, but I'd better
> sign off for now.
> -- eliot

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