Any Thoughts On This?
I find this article interesting:
Be curious to know what would happen if they put an orchestral musician in there sight-reading some Brahms or whatever. Or some bar-band guys jamming on "Louie Louie."
This might explain why music is a nearly-universal, fundamental means of communication. It brings along enough formants to express some kind of ur-meaning, and people are able to interpret that using their own experiences while they listen. That's why it affects so many and in so many ways.
Yes. Given what they say about music (at least, improv.) using brain areas devoted to syntax, but not meaning, I'm wondering how to account for the well-known use of drums to communicate over distance, as practiced in Africa and brought to the "New World" via the slave trade; plantation owners eventually banned the use of drums for fear of what might be getting communicated that way. Maybe "syntax" and "semantics" are not so simply differentiated? Or perhaps, as some assert, Form defines Meaning?
My personal bogus Theory of Everything is that "It's all Patterns."
It's also of note that we seem to share musical, or at least what seems to us musical, abilities with other creatures- birds, whales, coyotes, &c. Maybe that "jam session" scene in "Close Encounters" wasn't so far-fetched as regards communication...
(Will an advanced alien civilization have figured out how to deal with the syntonic comma?)
Wow, I dunno about the percussion thing you bring up, but it seems to me that as long as a fundamental set of patterns were designated in a certain way, it would be very easy to transmit meaning: think about morse code, only with groovin' ;)
Interestingly, extreme forms of oppression often lead to innovative ways to subvert itself.
For example, capoeira is a mixture of dance and martial arts which was developed during slavery periods when the slaves could convince their masters that they were practising their dance moves, yet in reality were honing their fighting skills.
Same as people in prison, who have developed social traits, languages and subterfuge to outwit the guards.
I think language evolve from sound ... before there was a language it was sounds, growls, snarls etc and to make it more sofisticated words became a things.
I suggest checking out the book "Musicophilia" by a neurologist named Oliver Sacks.
It has been a few years since I read it, but it it is worth a re-read soon.
One of the stories was about someone with true perfect pitch. He was able to tell what frequency a certain tone he heard, and report immediatly as if he were some sort of digital tuner display. He described hearing a song played in a different key as being a different song because the point of reference had changed on everything. Even though the intervals were the same, they were not the same pitch. He compared it to someone mixing up the color assignments on a paint by number kit. The sky was red, the sun black, the grass purple, the apple grey...
Really cool book about the brain, music, and some incredible people. He also wrote "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat". Not music related, but full of really interesting stories about some of his patients and how their brains processed information.
Yeah, I suppose the drum thing could function as a type of code.
And I'll look up that Sacks book one of these days. I read some other book a few years back, by some "cognitive scientist" whose name I don't recall; in fact, all I do recall is that it was a damn boring book. Oliver is at least not boring!
WARNING: BAD BASS-RELATED JOKE FOLLOWS!
Back in the bad old days, Dr. Livingston is exploring the bush in some exotic (to him) locale; he's troubled, in fact, bloody well annoyed, that since his party's ship unloaded, there's been a constant tattoo of drums, somewhere out in the jungle, 24/7.
"Why," he asks the "native" guide, "don't those drums ever stop?"
- "Very bad if drums stop!"
- "Why would it be so bad? How'm I supposed to get any bloody sleep?"
- "Very bad if drums stop!"
This sorta thing goes on for weeks. Finally, one afternoon, driven beyond endurance and fearing for his sanity, Dr. L bursts into the headman's hut, flings himself headlong into the dirt and pleads-
"For the dear sweet love of God, man, please stop those bloody f&*^%$@ drums!!!!!"
"Very bad if drums stop!"
"WHY????? Why, in the name of all that is sacred, is it so damned bad if the drums stop????"
- "Because then comes- BASS SOLO!"
Hey, you were warned!
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