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Re: Difference between cognition and perception?
Odd Torleiv Furnes wrote:
THE prime aspect of listening to music is the fact that it has affective
significance. It's easy to say, "well we must extract such
patterns," but we don't know that for a fact.
I agree, for me the meaning of music is its affective value.
Still, I believe that pattern detection (or lack thereof) precedes
There are a lot of things we don't know for a fact when it comes to
but that pattern detection is prior to affection seems to me to be rather
We've been on about "basic" things in music, and here's another which
I think is fundamental -- movement. The fact that music seems to move
for us was noticed by Henri Bergson, but I think has barely, if at all,
been followed up on. When I was a child I was
overwhelmed by an orchestra concert -- and though musical
I couldn't follow the music at all. But I was completely aware
of the sound and of the colossal sense of movement all these
sounds brought about, the unfolding of an enormous power.
I don't think any sort of "pattern detection" is
at all relevant here. Rather, I currently suspect this has
to do with something like our sense of the kinematics
of the real world, whether or not that's an evolutionary
adapation, as Shepherd suggested, or merely acquired. As
far as I know, no one has ever attempted to theorize this
exceptionally important dimension of music. In my
theoretical models of music -- involving AI analysis and
composing -- kinematic representation is in fact the
basic operator. "Parallelization" or what you call
"pattern detection" is two levels up. Of course this
doesn't prove anything about affect. But my guess about
this is that it lies at the kinematic/movement level of
This might also help get us some ways into the problem of
theorizing our affective disposition towards some
sounds -- baby crying, dog growling, thunderstorming,
mamma soothing, and so on. Another area about
which we know nothing.
I seem to be coming towards Martin's side on all this! I am
not unaware of apparent contradictions in my recent postings
regarding the role of cognition in the enjoyment of music.