Re: Fwd: [AUDITORY] Pitch learning (Linda Seltzer )

Subject: Re: Fwd: [AUDITORY] Pitch learning
From:    Linda Seltzer  <lseltzer@xxxxxxxx>
Date:    Sun, 4 Mar 2007 16:47:33 -0500

There are separate questions: (1) How does hearing work? (2) How does perception work? (3) How does cognition work? (4) How does music theory work? #1 should involve the least difference among cultures. #4 is guaranteed to involve very significant differences between cultures. Any study has to identify its goals: specifically what the researcher is trying to learn or test from the experiment. Which level are you trying to understand? Just studying "tuning in different cultures" will lead to confusion and incorrect musicology. >> I am sorry, but I don't know Ed at Complex Systems. >> Would you mind telling us your name? > > > Sorry, I had been having some computer problems > and set up a temporary account wrong (much better > now, though). It's Edward Large. > > In response to some of the postings in the past few days > I'd say that differences in the music of different cultures > are quite significant. However, the musical provincialism of > some past theorists shouldn't shouldn't stop the current > generation from asking what aspects of music may be universal, > informed, one hopes, by a better understanding of the differences. > > Consider that the languages of the world are very different, > but that hasn't stopped linguists from seeking a universal > grammar -- a set of basic principles underlying language. (This > is quite different from asserting that all languages are essentially > English -- or some nonsense like that.) > > The extreme position might hold that there are no universal musical > principles whatsoever. But I would argue that such a position is > untenable. It would suggest that the music of every culture is > essentially > arbitrary, with no structure whatsoever except that which is learned. > > Any successful psychological / neuroscientific approach to music > must provide an account both of the basic principles, which may have > a lot to do with basic neural processes, as well as what is learned. > > > Ed > > On Mar 1, 2007, at 10:21 AM, James D. Miller wrote: > >> I am sorry, but I don't know Ed at Complex Systems. >> Would you mind telling us your name? >> >> Jim Miller >> >> >> Quoting Complex Systems <large@xxxxxxxx>: >> >>> Hi Susan, >>> >>> Your message leaves the impression that non-Western tuning >>> systems are unrelated to the Western system and do not >>> follow small-integer ratio principles. But that's not quite true. >>> First, our modern Western tuning does not follow Pythagorean >>> intervals, >>> either. It uses equal temperament, as I'm sure you know. Second, >>> the tuning >>> systems of the rest of the world are related in many ways >>> to the Western tuning system and tend to use small integer ratios >>> (with >>> some exceptions, such as gamelan). From something I'm currently >>> working on: >>> >>> The oldest Western theory of musical consonance is due to Pythagoras: >>> Musical consonance is determined by the ratios of small whole >>> numbers. >>> The principle was that intervals of small integer ratios produced >>> harmonies >>> that were pleasing and mathematically pure. The Pythagorean tuning >>> system is the oldest extant Western system devised explicitly >>> according >>> to this principle, and is thought to have been devised by Pythagoras >>> himself. >>> Interestingly, the available evidence suggests that a scale >>> similar to this >>> was already in use in the West before any mathematical principle was >>> advanced to describe its structure. According to Iambiclus?s Life of >>> Pythagoras (Guthrie, 1987), Pythagoras did not invent the >>> Pythagorean scale, >>> he discovered a principle to explain a scale that was already in use. >>> A related >>> tuning system, Just Intonation (JI), originally proposed by Ptolemy >>> (Hunt, 1992), >>> derives all interval ratios in relation to one single tonic, and >>> chooses the smallest >>> possible integer ratios that divide the octave (approximately) >>> equally. Just >>> intonation satisfies the principle of small integer ratios more >>> nearly than the >>> Pythagorean, and it is sometimes referred to as the natural scale. >>> >>> The three largest non-Western tuning systems are Indian, Chinese and >>> Arab-Persian. >>> Each of these has inclusive 12-tone scales whose frequency >>> relationships are >>> similar to the Western chromatic scales. Two of these systems, the >>> Indian and the >>> Arab-Persian, use more than 12 intervals per octave (Burns, 1999). >>> The musical >>> systems of India are theoretically based on 22 intervals per octave. >>> However, the >>> basic scale consists of 12 tones tuned according to a form of just >>> intonation. >>> The remaining 10 tones are slight variations of certain intervals, >>> the exact frequencies >>> of which depend upon the individual melodic framework (raga) being >>> played. The >>> Arab-Persian system theoretically employs intervals that bisect the >>> distance between >>> Western chromatic intervals. However, there is some controversy as to >>> the exact number >>> of possible intervals and the actual intervals produced in >>> performance. Most sources >>> list the small integer ratio tuning relationships. >>> >>> Ed >>> >>> On Feb 28, 2007, at 1:41 AM, Susan Allen wrote: >>> >>>> It is astonishing to me that all of you are talking about western >>>> scales and octaves! This is not the music of the world! This is >>>> colonial music, discovered in the West.... >>>> The WORLD of music does not follow Pythagorean intervals! There >>>> are many more notes! >>>> >>>> FORGET perfect pitch - it only has to do with relative pitch on the >>>> piano keyboard - within the Western (colonial) paradigm! >>>> >>>> >>>> Susan Allen PhD >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> On Feb 27, 2007, at 10:03 PM, Annabel Cohen wrote: >>>> >>>>> Dear Martin and Stewart and others: >>>>> >>>>> I am willing to concede that sensitivity to overlapping >>>>> harmonics may >>>>> not be the basis of the musical and octave sensitivity of monkeys; >>>>> what remains unclear to me is whether there is an "octave circular >>>>> pitch processor" or rather than a "small-integer / periodicity- >>>>> sensitive processor". >>>>> >>>>> If there is only an "octave circular pitch processing" to >>>>> account for >>>>> octave generalization, one would predict performance in monkeys on >>>>> transpositions to the perfect fifth (ratio 3/2 = 7 semitones >>>>> up) to >>>>> be as poor as performance on transposition to the tritone (half >>>>> octave = 6 semitones). A study including the perfect fifth >>>>> transposition has not been carried out to the best of my knowledge. >>>>> If performance were superior for the perfect fifth, the "octave >>>>> processor" theory would be incomplete. >>>>> >>>>> How also does one explain the monkey's superior performance on >>>>> tonal >>>>> as opposed to atonal melodies, when tonal melodies are >>>>> characterized >>>>> by tones related by small integer ratios (though typically not >>>>> octaves) as compared to tone relations in atonal melodies. >>>>> >>>>> Annabel >>>>> >>>>> On 24 Feb 2007 at 0:43, Martin Braun wrote: >>>>> >>>>>> Dear Annabel, Stew, and others, >>>>>> >>>>>> Annabel Cohen wrote: >>>>>> >>>>>> "The evidence in this paper [ >>>>>> ] for octave >>>>>> generalization for tonal melodies by rhesus monkeys is impressive, >>>>>> however, whether this reflects something special about sensitivity >>>>>> to the octave (chroma) rather than sensitivity to the overtone >>>>>> series or periodicity is still not clear from this study." >>>>>> >>>>>> Sorry, it IS clear from this study. The authors reported that >>>>>> generalization over the distance of two octaves is even stronger >>>>>> than that over the distance of one octave. This finding definitely >>>>>> rules out the possibility that the monkeys generalized >>>>>> according to >>>>>> similarities in the sound spectrum (harmonics). The only remaining >>>>>> possibility is that the monkeys, the same as humans, have an >>>>>> octave >>>>>> circular pitch processing, which provides the basis for a chroma >>>>>> percept. >>>>>> >>>>>> Martin >>>>>> >>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------ >>>>>> -- >>>>>> - Martin Braun Neuroscience of Music S-671 95 Klässbol Sweden web >>>>>> site: >>>>> >>>>> >>>>> ------- End of forwarded message -------Annabel J. Cohen, Ph. D. >>>>> Department of Psychology >>>>> University of Prince Edward Island >>>>> Charlottetown, P.E.I. C1A 4P3 CANADA >>>>> e:mail acohen@xxxxxxxx >>>>> phone: (902) 628-4325 office; (902) 628-4331 lab >>>>> fax: (902) 628-4359 >>>>> >>>>> >>> >>> >> >> >> >> -- >> James D. Miller, Ph.D. >> Principal Scientist >> Communication Disorders Technology, Inc. >> Indiana University Research Park >> 501 N. Morton Street Suite 215 >> Bloomington, IN 47404 >> Business Phone: (812)336-1766 >> Cingular Cell Phone: (812)360-0612 >> >

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