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Re: On the Grammar of Music

On Fri, 27 Apr 2001, Stephen McAdams wrote:

> > There are no such rules.
> Since Ed Burns isn't on this list anymore, I guess someone else has to
> huff and puff and blow the house down and say "Stop the patent
> nonsense!"
> Anyone who truly believes there are no rules in music would give up
> working on the neuroscience of music and become a roofer. At least

Of course there are rules in melodic music and there are rules
in the way we perceive sound, and there are valuable and
enlightening relationships to be found between the two.
Fuzzyness of the definition of music doesn't invalidate that.

As a project-on-the-side I'm compiling a CD of sound-artists'
responses to John Cage's  4'33"  (the silent piece), asking them
to select some dimension and push it to a limit.
Though none of the tracks I have received so far would be considered
"melodic music" there is a definite logic to each piece - with the
possible exception of one that was created by the composer's cat.

The broader question is - how do we parse sound?
What elements come into the feedback loop in which expectation meets
stimulus with some level of surprise which modulates expectation?
ie. How does "schema-based ASA" work? Whatever gets us there is good.


----------------------- /\/\/\/- -------------------------------------
 The graph data may not convey the true nature of the screech -  the
 reader may add a visceral sense to the consideration of this report
 by chewing on a piece of aluminium foil while viewing the data.
                           -- Barry McKinnon, `Fork Screech Analysis'