Re: What is music ... = spirals ?

Subject: Re: What is music ... = spirals ?
From: Kevin Austin (
Date: Sun Nov 20 2005 - 21:11:45 EST

The ability / propensity to integrate sounds, I agree, is
fascinating. The concept of critical bandwidth as playing a role in
this provides a framework for the discussions of counterpoint and
independence of line.

Traditional theory proposes that parallel fifths are forbidden
because the upper part (being within the harmonic series of the lower
part) will 'disappear' as an independent voice. Perception can be
changed (and educated), and in university tools need to be used that
will allow for the (re)education of the ear well after graduation.

Helping people come to perceptual refinement through the intellect is
one of the things that I find needs to take place in University -- I
simply don't have six years to assist in the aural development for a
keenly discriminating ear, I have 26 weeks @ 3 hours per week.

A theory is a tool. It can be incomplete but still useful.

Some of the 'color' sites posted here have been fascinating for they
demonstrate that perception is contextual, and theories of perception
may be too simple.

Regarding: "Er, the notes are too far apart for me to judge them as a
unit." this is how some people with absolute pitch have described
their sensation of 'intervals' to me; they do not integrate them into
a tone color -- they hear two notes, name the notes, and based upon
this, give the "interval" a name. I have been told the same applies
to tertial triads and have met a number of people who have not heard
"a major triad", and do not hear "inversions" of chords.

One of the interesting aspects of stereo-projection of pieces is the
psychoacoustic parts where the sounds "come apart". Even 'knowing'
that the source is a stereo signal, the sounds still 'come from' many
points around the hall.

In my scanning of the literature on this, I find little specific
written about it. Do many listeners have the experience of sounds
'coming apart' when played over multi-speaker systems? Are there
particular places in the listening space where this is more likely to
happen? What kinds of source materials lead to this process of aural
segregation? What kinds of processes could be used to try to assure
that sounds do not segregate and stream?



At 17:40 -0800 2005/11/20, Kenneth Newby wrote:
>The most interesting thing about your example Kevin is the variety
>of responses. The third one is the most problematic for me. Not that
>I deny the theory of (or practice using) critical bandwidth, but
>that one would ignore one's perception in the light of theory?
>>One response is: "No, I hear minor ninths miles apart." Another
>>response is: "Wow! They sound like octaves!". A third response is:
>>"Er, the notes are too far apart for me to judge them as a unit."
>>(beyond the critical bandwidth).

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