COMMENT on test results (Martin Braun )

Subject: COMMENT on test results
From:    Martin Braun  <nombraun(at)POST.NETLINK.SE>
Date:    Thu, 3 May 2001 10:02:54 +0200

I think we all have to thank Odd for returning his test answers, particularly as nobody else was able to return ANYTHING. The most important result is that nobody, not even Odd, could say WHICH syntactic expectations of a listener possibly could be satisfied or violated. I take this as strong evidence that the given chord sequence may be totally UNRELATED to syntactic expectations of listeners. Had I been given the test, I would have returned: "There are two tonal centers, G-minor and D-major. The order of chords has not the slightest similarity to any chord pattern described in theory books. Therefore a pattern satisfaction or a pattern violation in listeners must be excluded." Odd suggested that this type of chord pattern could appear in music of Mariah Carey or Edvard Grieg. This is interesting, because both music styles are not only separated by about 120 years, but also by immense differences in music production and in listening habits of audiences. This means that there is NOTHING style-specific in this chord pattern. Such freely composed chord patterns can probably be found from around 1800 until now. And that in so-called TONAL music. I hope the test and its results could clarify the background of my sharp criticism of the paper "Musical Syntax is processed in Broca's area: an MEG study" by Maess et al., which I had mailed to this list on April 25, 26, and 28. Perhaps we can extend Pierre Divenyi's view: Not only composition according to text-book rules produces muzak, also listening to music according to text-book rules leaves nothing but muzak. Fortunately, with the exception of some dogma teachers, nobody seems to do that. Music is something different. Martin

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