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

Re: sometimes behave so strangely

Diana Deutsch wrote:

A number of people have pointed out that the timing characteristics of the pattern could be important. I agree – the pattern has an emphatic rhythm, and the repetition of this rhythm may help to induce listening in ‘music mode’. Also, in a study in progress we’re looking at the effect of the durations of the pauses between repetitions, and it appears that lengthening these pauses reduces the effect - or at least slows down its development– the formal experiment has yet to be completed. And it’s true that I intentionally configured the pauses in the published example so that the entire sequence of repetitions should be metrically coherent.

It may be of interest to know that just about any speech can be made into music given the right context, even without any repetition or "metric coherence" at all. It is, for example, recently becoming practice in Jazz music to use speech to obtain ideas about melody. In some cases, the recorded speech is used as the melody itself done in unison with a non-vocal musical instrument. A great example is Jason Moran, a well known jazz pianist in the NYC area. He recorded a Turkish woman speaking on the phone with her mother, and then put it to song in a jazz trio (piano, bass, drums) context. You hear the speech, Moran duplicating the melody on acoustic piano along with the speech, Moran harmonizing with his left hand, and the bass and drum accompaniment. The resulting song excerpt is here:


There are other examples of his where he uses speech in another
language in the same way. Note that Moran and his band have memorized
this speech and use the tape of it live when they perform this piece
(I recently saw him perform it live).

It should also be noted, Franz Zappa back in the early 1980s hired a
guitarist named "Steve Vai" to transcribe on guitar some of Zappa's
spoken phrases and play them back on guitar along with the speech
recording (Vai is most noted for transcribing Zappa's guitar solos,
but he also transcribed Zappa's speech). I don't recall the album/song
that this is on, but it was in the early 1980s (if I remember, I'll send
it out).


                  -- Jeff