[LAU] re Subconscious Affecting Music

Ken Restivo ken at restivo.org
Thu Sep 9 00:00:40 UTC 2010

On Fri, Sep 03, 2010 at 10:30:13AM -0500, Brent Busby wrote:
> On Fri, 3 Sep 2010, Arvind Venkatasubramanian wrote:
>> Brent: Very Interesting.  But that's the skill of trained drummers to  
>> control the bandwidth of the spectrum by their playing skills.  In the  
>> subjective memory music, if I listen to a note in a melody or  
>> percussion just 5 seconds back, I can have control over sound level,  
>> if I want to change sound level and pitch control, if I want pitch  
>> control.
>> But after 10 minutes, I cannot do that.  But from what you say, a  
>> drummer can do it anytime he wants because he is actually tweaking the  
>> matter (waveFORM) and not accessing (his?) mind.
> It's really something he's doing in the listener's mind though, not his  
> own.  When you play louder, simplistically speaking, you're not really  
> raising pitch.  (I say simplistically, because sometimes actually you  
> are:  Hitting a drumhead harder can actually momentarily increase its  
> tuning tension, but that's not always what's going on.  Most of it  
> really is the subject effect I'm talking about.)  The drummer is taking  
> advantage of the way people tend to hear higher volumes as higher  
> pitches.

Yep. The drummer in Better Than Lahar plays with only one rack tom and one floor tom. When I was mixing our CD (in Ardour, of course!), I noticed a passage where he did a quick 16th-note tom run across all four toms. Wait, what? Four? He has only two! It turned out that by skillfully hitting only ONE tom (the rack) in different places on the head and with different levels of force, he got four distinct pitches out of that one drum. He's a funk drummer, but he studied jazz at university, and it shows.

> I'm thinking probably it's just another manifestation of the same  
> phenomenon in the way you remember melodies after some time passes.

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