Archive for June, 2019

The Sound of Music

Sunday, June 2nd, 2019
The clackety-clack of a train on the track 
is beating a rhythm that carries us back
to a time in the cave when our yackety-yak
and the chipping of stones
and the crackle of fire and the patter of rain
combined in a babble of sound to decode.

There repeating patterns were clues to the brain
as to what came from where and how to explain...

We appear to feel strongly rewarded by the recognition both of patterns and of deviations therefrom. This makes sense as such recognition is the basis of how we make useful predictions about the world around us, and the ability to make such predictions correctly is the key to our survival.

Our appreciation of music is just the aural manifestation of that reward system – similar in many respects to our appreciation of visual patterns in art and of more abstract patterns in mathematics.

Unfortunately the language and notation that has evolved to describe musical patterns has never “spoken” to me very clearly. It seems full of arbitrary and misleading names for things that could be expressed more simply. So maybe I should try to come up with an alternative (and/or an understanding of the rationale behind that conventional notation).