Showing posts with label listening. Show all posts
Showing posts with label listening. Show all posts

Monday, July 15, 2013

In for a discount?

I hope you don't mind that -in the middle of the summer- I do another plug of my book that is about to appear in paperback and offered at 50% discount until Thursday 18 July 2013.

However, from now on, be sure to expect mostly updates on research by colleagues. As a start, below a reference to an intriguing paper by Dan Dediu and Stephen C. Levinson that just came out in Frontiers in Language Sciences on the evolutionary history of language, with a single, yet inspiring paragraph on music.

Dediu, D. & Levinson, S.C.  (2013) On the antiquity of language: the reinterpretation of Neandertal linguistic capacities and its consequences. Frontiers in Language Sciences. 4, 397.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Herkent u deze melodie? [Dutch]

Je zit in je auto en draait wat aan de knop van de radio. Je hoort al snel of bepaalde muziek je bevalt of niet. Je herkent een stem, een liedje of zelfs de uitvoering ervan. Iedereen doet het, iedereen kan het. En vaak ook nog eens razendsnel: sneller dan een noot gemiddeld klinkt.

Als u gevraagd zou worden om naar een reeks muziekfragmenten van 0,2 seconde te luisteren, zal blijken dat u met gemak aan kan geven welk fragment klassiek, jazz, R&B of pop is (zie luistertest). Een snippertje geluid geeft ons toegang tot de herinnering aan eerder gehoorde muziek, ook al hebben we deze serie noten nog nooit eerder gehoord. Die herinnering kan heel specifiek zijn: aan een liedje van Björk, bijvoorbeeld. Maar ze kan ook heel algemeen zijn: we herkennen een bepaald genre: klassiek, country, jazz. De nuances in klankkleur, karakteristiek voor een liedje of een heel genre, zitten kennelijk op een abstracte manier in ons geheugen opgeslagen. Daarom is de draaiknop (of tiptoets) van de autoradio zo’n succesvolle interface geworden…

Vandaag verschenen er verschillende items in de media n.a.v. van een stukje in Volkskrant over de oorwurm en de hype rond Song Pop, een app die gebruik maakt van het hierboven beschreven muzikale talent dat we allemaal delen: het razendsnel herkennen van muziek.


ResearchBlogging.org Gjerdingen, Robert O., & Perrott, D. (2008). Scanning the Dial: The Rapid Recognition of Music Genres Journal of New Music Research, 37 (2), 93-100 DOI: 10.1080/09298210802479268

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Weet je wat je hoort? [Dutch]

Deze week verscheen er een nieuwe versie van het boek Iedereen is muzikaal. Deze editie is uitgebreid met een nawoord, een appendix en directe QR-verwijzingen naar luistervoorbeelden, korte testjes en demonstraties. Diverse media besteedde er aandacht aan. Hieronder een interview bij 3fm.

Wordt popmuziek steeds treuriger? [Dutch]

Socioloog Christian von Scheve (Freie Universität Berlin) en muziek-psycholoog Glenn Schellenberg (University of Toronto) analyseerden zo’n duizend liedjes die tussen 1965 en 2009 in de Amerikaanse hitlijsten stonden. Daarbij vergeleken ze onder meer toonsoorten en tempo’s.

De onderzoekers concludeerden dat er nu meer liedjes in de hitlijsten verschijnen die in mineur worden geschreven dan in de jaren zestig. Van mineurnummers is bekend dat ze een gevoel van verdriet opwekken. Derhalve stellen de onderzoekers dat nummers in de hitlijsten steeds treuriger worden (bron: Nu.nl).

Maar hoe ‘mineur’ klikken popsongs in mineur eigenlijk? Denk bijvoorbeeld aan Everybody van de Backstreet Boys of Love Game van Lady Gaga…



[Item op Radio 2]

ResearchBlogging.org Schellenberg, E., & von Scheve, C. (2012). Emotional Cues in American Popular Music: Five Decades of the Top 40. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts DOI: 10.1037/a0028024

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

How do children learn and represent music?

Jeanne Bamberger
In the eighties of the last century there was an almost utopian vibe that the computer would change not only music, mathematics, linguistics and related fields, but also education. Special programming languages were developed that were aimed to resonate with the intuition of children (and adults) about a certain domain, be it mathematics, music, or language. It generated an enormous amount of ideas, especially at MIT, where for instance Jeanne Bamberger was for long professor of Music and Urban Education. The cognitivist underpinnings of her work marked a groundbreaking shift in the design of music education software, a field dominated at the time by programs influenced by behaviorist “skill and drill” theories of music learning and teaching. Influenced by the work of Seymour Papert on Logo (a lisp-like programming language designed for educational purposes), Jeanne set out to design project-based musical micro-worlds that researchers and teachers could use to help make children’s musical thinking, intuitions, and problem solving processes audible and visible.

Last month the peer-reviewed online journal Visions of Research in Music Education published a tribute to Jeanne Bamberger. See here for more information.

ResearchBlogging.orgBamberger, J. (1991/5) The Mind behind the Musical Ear: How Children Develop Musical Intelligence. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

ResearchBlogging.orgBamberger, J. (2000) Developing Musical Intuitions: A Project-Based Introduction to Making and Understanding Music. New York: Oxford University Press.

ResearchBlogging.orgDesain, P., and Honing, H. (1988). LOCO: A Composition Microworld in Logo. Computer Music Journal, 12 (3), 30-42. DOI: 10.2307/3680334

ResearchBlogging.orgHoning, H. (1993). A microworld approach to the formalization of musical knowledge Computers and the Humanities, 27 (1), 41-47 DOI: 10.1007/BF01830716

Monday, January 23, 2012

Is a silence always a silence?

Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis of the University of Arkansas discusses in a spoken column at Inside Higher Ed why musical silence is just as important to a composition as the notes themselves:



The last sentence of the column is "If music moves you, the next time someone asks if you know anything about it, think twice before you say 'no' ". Couldn't agree more.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Which brain areas are involved in listening?

It's a persistent myth to think that music is processed solely in the right hemisphere. This week yet another study shows that, even when the processes are restricted to listening alone, virtually the whole brain is involved.

A Finish research group led by Petri Toiviainen found that music listening recruits not only the auditory areas of the brain, but also employs large-scale neural networks. They could show that the processing of musical pulse recruits motor areas in the brain, supporting the idea that music and movement are closely intertwined. Limbic areas of the brain, known to be associated with emotions, were found to be involved in rhythm and tonality processing. Processing of timbre was associated with activations in the so-called default mode network, which is assumed to be associated with mind-wandering and creativity.

Adapted from Stewart et al. (2009) Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology. 

As said, this study is not alone in this. In a recent chapter Laurel Stewart and colleagues made a similar claim based on a review of a vast amount of literature. In the figure above (redrawn from the original) the circles indicate the areas where more than 50% of the existing literature agrees that they are involved. (N.B. it is good to realize these areas are actually part of whole networks, and not just single locations.) And here again, if you look at the brain networks involved in listening, you’ll notice that virtually the whole brain is involved.

ResearchBlogging.orgAlluri, V., Toiviainen, P., Jääskeläinen, I., Glerean, E., Sams, M., & Brattico, E. (2011). Large-scale brain networks emerge from dynamic processing of musical timbre, key and rhythm NeuroImage DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.11.019

ResearchBlogging.orgStewart L, von Kriegstein K, Warren JD, & Griffiths TD (2006). Music and the brain: disorders of musical listening. Brain : a journal of neurology, 129 (Pt 10), 2533-53 PMID: 16845129