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Re: They sometimes behave so strangely

what you and Brian are implying here is that 'musical listening' is
substantively different from the kind of listening that has evolved in
the face of normal environmental conditions where survival issues
naturally take precedence. This places musical listening in a context of
where 'normal' mechanisms have been 'hijacked' for some other use,
outside of the usual evolutionery pressures - this is Stephen Pinker's
position, i think. However, I feel it can't be so black-and-white -
environments aren't always so urgent (and in any case, being a stranger
in morocco should awaken one's survival instincts sufficiently to
suppress any luxurious non-survival-oriented perceptual styles. I would
accept that musical listening might be somewhat analogous to using
vision to appreciate a 'nice view' where imme3diate threat is clearly
absent - but the analogy can't be pushed too far; our recreational use
of vision seems somehow less abstract - it's more usually of 'things'
(even if colour is exaggerated) whereas music is the 'thing' in itself -
with exceptions in both cases, of course.
Dr. Peter Lennox
Signal Processing Applications Research Group
University of Derby
Int. tel: 1775
>>> Pierre Divenyi <pdivenyi@xxxxxxxxx> 01/09/07 19:54 PM >>>
In the same vein, just imagine your boss who calls you in his office one
morning and sings, beautifully and with great musical expression, "you


On 1/9/07 9:35 AM, "Brian Gygi" <bgygi@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Peter Lennox wrote:
>> As you've implied, the mystery is not so much that repetitions evince
>> perception of musicality, but rather that 'normally', we don't hear
>>  I've often wondered on this in respect of environmental sounds - why
do we
>> not hear a "musical world"?
> That is what numerous composers have tried to do for the past almost
> hundred years, to get us to hear the world in more musical terms.  I
> think the reason we do not do this on an everyday  basis is because it
> is contrary to the demands of our normal everyday functioning in a
> complex acoustic environment.  If you get so caught up in the
> of a soundscape, you will fail to notice important things, like all
> people honking at you who are about to hit you (a particular danger in
> countries such as Morocco).  For everday listening, what is important
> the nature of a sound source and its location.  Those are different
> the goals of musical or linguistic listening.  If you are presented
> a soundscape that is sufficiently different from what you are
> to, you may indeed notice the musicality of it, just as you can hear
> musicality of an exotic language.  But if you lived there everyday and
> had to hear and respond to the sounds in an appropriate manner, I
> suspect the musicality would soon go away.  Which is necessarily not
> bad thing.
> Brian Gygi
> East Bay Institute for Research and Education

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