[LAU] re Subconscious Affecting Music

Arvind Venkatasubramanian mdu.arvind at gmail.com
Fri Sep 3 13:51:46 UTC 2010

Hi All:

Slightly deviating off the conversation, I am sharing with you all some
interesting stuff that I encountered.

I discovered this while I was walking besides the school of philosophy after
completing my class in in engineering. As I was hearing to the sounds of
leaves and birds, I was approaching my music lab at the Frost school of
music. As I was about to get into my department, I heard a beautiful melody
from a saxophone. I kept chanting the melody for sometime as I started to
work on my computer. With time, I started to feel the image of the melody
subjectively. But I felt that to be too faint to hear. I wanted it to be a
bit louder and tried to turn up the volume button in me. I noticed that I
could not do that. Any attempt that I made to turning up the level of the
music only helped me transposing the melody up my one or two keys
(semitones). Similarly, any attempt to lower the tone helped only in
transposing the melody down by few keys.

I started experimenting this at home by listening to music on tape. Then I
turned the tape off and "immediately" started to listen to that piece
subjectively. I turned up the volume button. It worked now. The volume went
up in my head without transposing the music to higher keys. Seeing the
contradictions, I tried the same experimented the next morning. This time, I
was not able to have control over the parameters of the music. The volume
did not go up but transposition happened again.  Is the amplitude control
mechanism not possible after data storage in memory?  Does the feel of
amplitude control experienced only if external matter is tweaked?  That
clearly re-defined the problem formulation in me about the "theory of forms"
mentioned in Plato's Cave Allegory/Republic.

These events lead me to think that memory plays a vast, unpredictable role
in connecting independent events of the world and give a meaning to it. If
memory does not work, each phrase in a music is an individual phrase; each
note in a phrase is individual note, each part of sound in a note is an
individual sound; each granular atom in a sound in individual grain. The
necessary connections to these events are "believed" to be happening in
human brain. But the existence of a human brain is also part of memory. The
residence or location of memory is said to be in human mind. Wherein, the
human mind dwells cannot be told because it comes from living experience.

Arvind Venkatasubramanian
Audio DSP Engineer and studio musician

On Fri, Sep 3, 2010 at 8:55 AM, David Santamauro <david.santamauro at gmail.com
> wrote:

> On Fri, 3 Sep 2010 17:56:13 +0530
> Rustom Mody <rustompmody at gmail.com> wrote:
> > There are two voices I hear here vis-a-vis Bach:
> > 1. Art for art's sake -- the romantic idea
> > 2. Art for money's sake -- the distinction of commercial vs
> > commisioned being a fine semantic distinction.
> >
> > Bach himself expressed a view however which does not fit in with
> > either: *
> > Anything done other than for the service of God is vanity*
> "The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the
> glory of God and the refreshment of the soul."
> God, unfortunately, doesn't pay for food directly. The refreshment of
> the soul alone would have left him starving as well.
> Although he was extremely devote and clearly most of his inspiration
> was generated by that religious stance, he was not above squabbling for
> better pay. The fact that his employer was the church might also had
> something to do with that stance as well.
> "He regarded himself as a conscientious craftsman doing a job to the
> best of his ability for the satisfaction of his superiors, for the
> pleasure and edification of his fellowmen, and to the glory of
> God." [ Grout & Palisca: A History of Western Music ]
> David
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> Linux-audio-user at lists.linuxaudio.org
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