Re: Why the music is music and the noise is noise? (John Croft )

Subject: Re: Why the music is music and the noise is noise?
From:    John Croft  <mfmxhjcc(at)STUD.MAN.AC.UK>
Date:    Sat, 28 Apr 2001 18:11:58 +0100

on 27/4/01 14:54, Bob Masta at masta(at)UMICH.EDU wrote: > On 26 Apr 01, at 17:31, John Croft wrote: > >> Or maybe just lacking semitones. The notes of the "black note" pentatonic >> scale can be played simultaneously without a lot of sensory roughness -- I >> think this is sufficient to explain the apparent "can't miss" nature of the >> scale. The whole tone scale has something of this quality as well (but may >> be less comfortable for tonal ears). >> > > The lack of roughness when these tones are sounded together is no doubt > related to the "can't miss" phenomenon, but doesn't seem sufficient to > explain it; the phenomenon applies when the notes are sounded singly, > not just together. ... > Or is there possibly some higher mechanism that allows a "roughness" > determination between notes that are separated in time? I think something like this might be relevant: clearly melodically adjacent notes aren't perceptually rough in the same sense as simultaneous notes (unless the instrument has a sustain or the room is reverberant) -- but part of what makes a series of notes sound musically acceptable in a modal or tonal context is that they imply an acceptable harmonic rhythm. A C followed by a non-passing B in a position where a harmonic change would be unlikely might create a dissonance with our imagined harmonisation. This is less likely in black-note pentatonic music, since there are no sequences that would be impossible to harmonise with chord I (with an optional added 6th or 9th). John _______________________________________

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