Ordinary Time 2017
On the way home tonight on NPR's "All Things Considered" I heard listeners singing their entries for the theme song lyrics contest.
Lately, I've been reading This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin (now available in paperback). Levitin introduces the counter-intuitive concept of contour. It's maybe not so important to music or musicians as it is to our brain and our cognitive grasp of how music works.
Contour is a relatively gross characterization of a song's identity. However its utility has been shown in various laboratory experiments. There is evidence that for melodies we do not know well (such as a melody we have only heard a few times), the contour is remembered better than the actual intervals (Massaro, Kallman & Kelly, 1980). In contrast, the exact interval patterns of familiar melodies are well remembered, and adults can readily notice contour-preserving alterations of the intervallic pattern (Dowling, 1994). Infants respond to contour before they respond to melody; that is, infants cannot distinguish between a song and a melodic alteration of that song, so long as contour is preserved. Only as the child matures is he able to attend to the melodic information. Some animals show a similar inability to distinguish different alterations of a melody when contour is preserved (Hulse & Page, 1988). One explanation of why the contour of a melody might be more readily processed is because it is a more general description of the melody, and it subsumes the interval information. It is only with increasing familiarity, or increasing cognitive abilities, that the intervallic details become perceptually important.
The concept of "contour" was in evidence as I heard these NPR listeners try to sing the ATC theme song. It's not an easy tune. And though different listeners settled on radically different solutions to the question of pitch, all of them matched the contour.
The page you're reading is part of Sinden.org
©MMXVII Sinden.org: a site for fun and prophet
Looking for Carol Spreadsheets?
Hungry? Try the Liturgical Guide to Altoids Consumption
Thirsty? Try the Tibia Liquida
The Eric Harding Thiman Fan Page: The greatest composer you've never even heard of.
Questions? Problems? email the sexton.
Alex Ross: The Rest is Noise
Book of Common Prayer
The Daily Office
The Lectionary Page
Ship of Fools
The Sub-Dean's Stall
Vested Interest - Trinity Church in the City of Boston
Andrew Kotylo - Concert Organist
Bonnie Whiting, percussion
conjectural navel gazing: jesus in lint form
Friday Night Organ Pump
Halbert Gober Organs, Inc.
in time of daffodils
Joby Bell, organist
Musings of a Synesthete
My Life as Style, Condition, Commodity.
Nathan Medley, Countertenor
Notes on Music & Liturgy
The Parker Quartet
Roof Crashers & Hem Grabbers
That Which We Have Heard & Known
This Side of Lost
Zachary Wadsworth | composer
Advent (Medfield MA)
All Saints, Ashmont (Boston MA)
All Saints (Indianapolis IN)
Atonement (Bronx NY)
Broadway UMC (Indianapolis IN)
Cathedral of All Saints (Albany NY)
Christ Church (Bronxville NY)
Christ Church (Madison IN)
Christ Church (New Haven CT)
Christ Church Cathedral (Indianapolis IN)
Christ's Church (Rye NY)
Church of St. Stephen (Hamden CT)
Congregational (Belmont CA)
Coventry Cathedral (UK)
First UMC (Lancaster SC)
Gloria Dei ELCA (Iowa City IA)
Immanuel Lutheran (St Paul MN)
Immanuel Lutheran (Webster NY)
John Knox PCUSA (Houston TX)
St Andrew (Marblehead MA)
St Andrew's, Oregon Hill (Richmond VA)
St Bartholomew the Great, (London, England)
St James's (Lake Delaware NY)
St James's (Richmond VA)
St James Cathedral (Chicago IL)
St Mary's Cathedral (Memphis TN)
St Matthew and St Timothy (NYC)
St Paul's (Cleveland Heights OH)
St Paul's (Indianapolis IN)
St Paul's Cathedral (Buffalo NY)
St Paul's, K Street (Washington DC)
St Peter's (Lakewood OH)
St Peter's ELCA (NYC)
St Stephen's (Richmond VA
St Thomas (New Haven CT)
St Thomas ELCA (Bloomington IN)
Second PCUSA (Indianapolis IN)
Towson Presbyterian Church (MD)
Tremont Temple Baptist (Boston MA)
Trinity (Indianapolis IN)
Trinity on the Green (New Haven CT)
Yes, but they're not the kind you buy on Wheel of Fortune.
the owner of a bower at Bucklesfordberry?
Full daintily it is dight.
interested in touch lamps?
And fountain pens.