Re: What is music ... = spirals

Subject: Re: What is music ... = spirals
From: Rick (
Date: Mon Nov 21 2005 - 03:32:55 EST

maybe since we're talking about the perceptual aspects of pitch and
color you could add chroma to the argument and get the circularity


On 11/21/05, Eldad Tsabary <> wrote:
> Kenneth Wrote:
> "Hmmm... I wonder if we're conflating objective features with subjective
> (perceptual) here? Color and pitch are both percepts and both have a
> "circular" nature: the circular nature of perceived color and the
> circular nature of octave equivalence. Both color and pitch can be
> represented as frequencies but neither of these frequency
> representations imply circularity."
> ------------------------
> Perhaps the circular nature of pitch is strictly limited to music. For
> example, Al Bregman's research of audio stream segregation shows that the
> farthest apart in pitch the tones in a sequence of alternating high and low
> tones are, the stronger the stream segregation - with no effect caused by
> octave equivalence. Increasing the separation has a strictly linear effect
> on our perception regardless of what we would possibly consider a strong
> tonal relation.
> On a color-related note, I'd like to share an amusing experience. I visited
> the MET in New York a few years ago with a color-blind friend and we both
> stopped to look at a work in the twentieth century art section (I cannot
> recall the name of the artist). The work of art was a series of large color
> panels - each panel with a single color - laid on a wall in such order
> giving the sense of a gradual shift from one color to another (through many
> others) - a very linear perceptual experience. My friend's color-blindness
> is not complete black and white but is rather a distortion that I cannot
> fully categorize (for example instead of seeing red-yellow-green in a stop
> light he sees red-red-white). He explained to me how interesting this work
> was for its symmetrical nature :) He saw the two ends as having identical
> colors and very symmetrically shifting towards the shared center. My
> description caught him by complete surprise. Although both our experiences
> were linear in nature, they were fundamentally different in direction.
> I found this experience to be an amusing example of how perception is the
> key for our experience
> Eldad

Rick Nance
De Montfort University
Leicester, UK

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