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Perception as memory

Thank you.

Tonality seems to be about experience, ie, memory, and organization, IME. I tend to listen to Rachmaninov as not changing keys, most simply as colorations of the tonic, somewhat like lugubrious Chaikovsky. Similarly, it is possible (as a composer) to hear (see) every pitch as belonging to (at least) 17 major/minor keys. When I write "c", it could be ^1 in C major/ minor, or ^7 in Db. It could also be ^b7 in D major/minor, or ^bb7 in D# major/minor. When a piece begins on A below middle C, for me it evokes Tristan, as does the Ab evoke Parsifal. Part of my ear-training as a student was to take one note, and to sing the 12 major and 12 minor scales associated with it. As I was trained, in C major, C# and Db are different, and I treat them as ^#1 and ^b2. Chopin uses ^b1 as the third of the Polish sixth chord. I have come to listen to his music as being clarified Rachmaninoff, never being able to really leave home. And there is F#, clear in Schubert Eight, and deadswamp-like liquidity in Mahler Ten -- both left unfinished.

In a previous posting I had mentioned "speeding up the hearing". Above is an example of this process.



PS I didn't start this thread, it came from the posting about DC offset, or warped 100 Hz sine tones.

Autumn approaches in Montreal where it went below 10 last night.

Date:    Tue, 25 Aug 2009 16:25:07 -0500
From:    David Smith <smithd@xxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: Perception as memory ...

My experience is that tonal cognitive mapping can be very fast.=A0 Much faster than the changes indicated by "key changes" or even Shenkerian types of analysis which don't include memory length as a significant parameter.=A0=A0 Polyphonic music, for example, still "makes sense" even if the tonal center change on each beat....

Dave Smith