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

Re: Difference between cognition and perception?

Martin Braun wrote:

The reason for the dominance of the perception concept in music is that here
cognition is not needed.

That's certainly not true. One of the most basic things about music --
and I think this is true
of all music -- is what I refer to as the instantiation of "parallels."
By this I mean anything,
at any level, that involves some sort of "object constancy." A recurrent
pulse involves a parallel
-- at least two analogous ioi's. The concept of repetition itself is a
"parallel." Parallels are applied
to interval, interval size, directional pitch groupings, contour,
abstract interpenetrations of
directed pitch movement (which I call "shape"), rhythmic motives,
multi-leveled groupings,
motivic, thematic, harmonic and structural parallels. Virtually all
music, even the simplest,. presents
a veritable orgy of parallels. It's evident that are brains are highly
attuned to their detection.

Question. is the detection of parallels about perception or cognition?
Unfortunately I don't
know of any relevant research here. But I think it's fair assumption
that where "comparisons"
are made, cognition must be involved.  Moreover, the kinds of
comparisons that I suspect
must be made even in  simple music -- and I'm thinking here of music not
more complex than
the "happy birthday song" -- involve, minimally, cognitive comparators
more or less like =, <. and >
that must operate across time, within and against groups, and so on.

This is a complex area . My point is simple, though. Even though I'm
assigning these operations to
cognition I still maintain that "perception" is the "higher" precept in
music. For one thing, very few
people can analyze music, whereas everyone enjoys music. The cognition
involved therefore most
mostly be of an "unconscious' character that "hands the results" to the
intgrations of perception.

So cognition MUST take place for us to appreciate music. But we're
mostly not aware of it.

-- eliot