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so strangely experiments

Dear List,

Here are a few informal experimental results on "... sometimes behave so

1. There is a tendency for repetition to bring out the melody hiding in any spoken phrase. It is possible to enhance the effect of an emergent melody by speaking tunefully, without actually singing. It is also possible to prevent any melody from emerging by including a glide on F0 in each syllable. The glide does not need to be exaggerated, but exaggeration ensures that no melody emerges -- not even a fragment.

2. Speech tones that happen to hit close to the notes of a scale seem to lead to a more salient emergent melody.

3. It's a common experience that once one has heard the emergent melody, one cannot listen to the spoken phrase without hearing that melody. This reminded me of ear worm melodies that go around and around in one's head and won't go away. I've found that the only effective way to remove an ear worm is to replace it by a different ear worm.

And so it seemed possible that an emergent melody might be eliminated by
replacing it by a different emergent melody. To test this idea, I used the same words with the same rhythm but changed the direction of the F0 contour for the two syllables in "sometimes" and in "strangely." The new melody was caused to emerge by repetition. However, the new melody did not remove the old melody. Each spoken phrase continued to cause its own melody to emerge.

Best wishes to all for the holidays,

Bill Hartmann