[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]


List members,

A graduate student in our program asked me the question below.  I
would appreciate any suggestions you have to offer, to get him

Arty Samuel

The question:

   I want to look into how people perceive and generate meaning from

speech in songs. The way I've thought of to get at this involves

looking at how people process noisy signals of various kinds with

regard to understanding their meaning. I've also been thinking about

an analogy to the hidden pictures used in visual perception: Take the

spotty picture that becomes a dalmatian sniffing at the ground. Once

you know what the picture is of, you can't avoid seeing the dog.

Similarly, after I've listened to songs with the lyrics in front of

me it becomes difficult to hear the speech as anything but what's

written. It isn't impossible though, because sometimes when I've done

this I retain memory for an incorrect interpretation that I generated

from earlier listenings, one that can compete with the correct one on

the same and later listenings. Additionally, I've looked at lyrics

that were incorrect while listening to a song, and they served as

kind of an anchor point for me to compare the written words with the

speech in the song, allowing me to determine that the words sung were

not what I had in front of me (while I think it would be unlikely

that I could have determined the actual words at all or as easily

without the written lyrics).

I hope this is clear enough to help others help me.