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

re - sometimes behave so strangely

Dear Branka,

Your representation of my notated phrase is misleading. In my posted example at 


the caption to the notation states:

'The repeated phrase, as it appears to be sung'. 

In my posting of December 14 (copied below) I wrote:

' in the subject’s rendition, the contour of each syllable spans a smaller range in terms of f0 than it does in the original – considerably smaller for some syllables. The contours of the syllables in the original are not flat – some of them, such as for ‘some’ and ‘so’ span a  large range – but they become flat when listeners who hear the effect as music repeat what they hear.

 The fact that the contours in my original are not flat has led to some small disagreement as to what the ‘notes’ actually are. Although the large majority hear the phrase as I notate it, some people argue that the first syllable ‘some’ should be notated a semitone lower, and others argue that the last syllable ‘ly’ should be notated a semitone lower (see for example, Linda Seltzer’s posting). There is in fact no ‘correct’ answer, because the pattern of f0s is consistent with a number of interpretations. (This is true even taking amplitudes into account.) It may well be that most of us ‘opt’ for the phrase as I notate it because it enables an interpretation in terms of a well-formed tonal melody.'

In my talk at the ASA/ASJ meeting, I displayed the pitch contours of the original - spoken - phrase and those of a subject repeating the phrase after multiple repetitions. This illustration  showed that in the subject's rendition, each syllable spanned a small  pitch range - appropriate to a musical note; however in the original - spoken - phrase the pitch ranges of the syllables were larger - in a couple of cases substantially so.

(see also my commentary in

http://philomel.com/phantom_words/booklet/ )

Your 'No wonder' statement is opaque - - - .

Diana Deutsch

Professor Diana Deutsch
Department of Psychology                          
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr. #0109            
La Jolla, CA 92093-0109, USA

858-453-1558 (tel)
858-453-4763 (fax)

Bruno wrote:

The more a speech utterance resembles music on these
dimensions (stepwise pitch changes, fairly regular rhythm), the more
likely it will be perceived "as music" when it is repeated.

Jeff wrote:

JasonMoran, 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.

 Jeff's posting raises a long debated question whether song  originally arouse from speech.

It may well be that  by applying stepwise pitch changes, and fairly regular rhythm, one goes from speech to a talking song and eventually a clearly perceived song.

Now, when yue analyse  the sentence "sometims behave so strangely" you get the  the following:

1) None of  her vowels was said on a mono-tone that could be represented by a single note (unlike the notation offered at http://philomel.com/phantom_words/description.html#sometimes).

2) Four out of 7 vowels are  diphthongs - (easy to lengthen and "sing" without distorting the vowel's identity)
3) The tone sequences of vowels  are:
      Word                      Tone
"sometimes":  rising monophthong + falling diphthong
"behave": falling monphthong + rising diphthong
"so": rising diphthong
"strangely": a fall-rise on diphthong followed by a rise and + a  falling monophthong

No wonder that we perceive it as "song" especially when repeated sufficiently.

The site below offers  an interesting  voice anaylsis software that turns any pitch contour into a "melody" played by a musical instrument


Best to all

Branka Zei Pollermann PhD
Psychiatrie de Liaison
Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève
51 Bvd. De la Cluse, 1205 Genève
tél. : 0041 22 382 48 81
Portable : 0041 79 203 92 17