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OT: Musical languistics

From:Samuel Rivier <samuelriv@...>
Date:Sunday, June 1, 2003, 0:21
Okay, music can show emotion, as can painting or (if
common art extended that far) anything else that
stimulates a sense in a certain way (imagine odor
paintings or texture songs).
So why not create language that is based highly on
rhythm and tone (perhaps start with a composition on
piano) which uses these properties as expressions of
meaning. The script can use a defined alphabet that is
represented in undefined ways, like us using italics
to emphasize certain words.

Another question. To what extent is all this NOT
universal, that is, how much of the emotional
experience that music and art generate comes from
culturally biased past experience. I suspect it would
be almost entirely biased in this way, but there
probably are some norms.

Examples I can think of offhand of musical bias as
Surf Music-- I never would have thought that the
hammering-on sound was supposed to represent waves
crashing until I heard the originator of surf music
say so. Now it seems crystal clear.
Odd chord progressions-- in songs like 'Being for the
Benefit of Mr. Kite' and 'Killer Queen' they can be
quite annoying until you get used to them. Then they
seem absolutely brilliant.
Microtones-- how is any musical language supposed to
be formed if every culture has a different musical
heritage and expresses emotion in different tones
altogether? Or will emotion in music be universally

Can animals like apes and dolphins (and, to a more
familiar extent, cats and dogs) interpret emotion in
music, or does that have to be complemented with
conditioned experience?

Appreciate responses.

-Sam Rivier

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