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Perception of music
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Tipiaowsek
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September 7, 2017 - 6:21 am
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I was wondering the other day. Do you think that if a person who has never heard music before would be able to perceive a sad tune as being sad or a happy tune as being happy etc?

Do not practice until you get it right, practice until you can't get it wrong.

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Charles
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September 7, 2017 - 9:36 am
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Interesting question, though I doubt it can ever really be answered, given how many sources of music there are around pretty much everyone.

I suspect the answer is partly nature and partly nurture. Everybody is going to notice the difference between a slow song and a fast one, but the slow one might be interpreted as stately, or somber where someone used to that particular style of music might call it sad.

You might look for accounts of different cultures meeting and what they thought of each other's music. That's probably as close as we can come to getting a meaningful answer to the question.

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Cearbhael
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September 8, 2017 - 1:32 am
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Ah, but music bypasses much and speaks directly to the soul. It interacts with our emotional core in a way that is very evocative! I doubt you need to have been exposed to music before to have it act on your emotions! Actually I think someone hearing music the first time would be affected far stronger than someone who hears it every day. Yes, I believe that the difference between sad and happy would definitely be felt! To not be able to differentiate between happy or sad would be more a problem of them never having experienced emotion before!

"Reality is an illusion, albeit a persistent one".- Albert Einstein 

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Tipiaowsek
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September 8, 2017 - 2:57 am
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Your idea of checking through different cultures meeting is quite interesting. I hadn't thought of it that way. I figured that we could try it on babies and see if they react to it. I don't think we would be able to gauge their reactions perfectly as it could be due to several other factors as to what the baby was hearing in the womb of their mother maybe. I'll try to see if anyone did any studies of that!

Edit: I didn't see your reply Cearbhael! Yes from my point of view too, I think that music is felt by the soul and a person would be able to differentiate between a sad and a happy music. What I'm not sure about is the exact interpretation. This question popped in my head due to an event that recently occurred. I was playing requiem for a dream on youtube, (I had palyed it a lot of times before), and when I told my mother the story of the movie from which requiem for a dream is from she was shocked as she told me that for her this music was a happy one. 

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Dan-Hur
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September 8, 2017 - 9:04 am
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I think there is an instinctive factor to it. I watched a video on YouTube about a composer for horror movie scores who had an instrument specifically built for him. It was called the Apprehension Engine. It uses a bunch of different methods to generate sounds that give us that feeling of uneasiness or anxiety. Things like metal scraping on metal, or rattling sounds, but also notes on strings. I think those sounds have an impact on us because they kind of echo sounds in nature that alert us to danger and put us on edge. There might be something similar that connects minor keys to sad feelings and major keys to happier ones in our brains. It isn't exactly proof, but one thing to think about is whether or not someone who's never heard minor = sad or major = happy would interpret a piece in a minor key as "sad." I wonder if much scientific study has been done on the subject.

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Tipiaowsek
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September 12, 2017 - 1:55 am
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Dan-Hur said
I think there is an instinctive factor to it. I watched a video on YouTube about a composer for horror movie scores who had an instrument specifically built for him. It was called the Apprehension Engine. It uses a bunch of different methods to generate sounds that give us that feeling of uneasiness or anxiety. Things like metal scraping on metal, or rattling sounds, but also notes on strings. I think those sounds have an impact on us because they kind of echo sounds in nature that alert us to danger and put us on edge. There might be something similar that connects minor keys to sad feelings and major keys to happier ones in our brains. It isn't exactly proof, but one thing to think about is whether or not someone who's never heard minor = sad or major = happy would interpret a piece in a minor key as "sad." I wonder if much scientific study has been done on the subject.  

That video seems to be interesting. Could you link it? 

I would like to try to do a sort of questionnaire on the matter. I would include like 4 pieces of music one very sad, one very happy and two with a mix and see how people interprete it. It could also include background questions also. I don't really know what music choices would be included though. Only instrumental or music with voices too. Any ideas on that? I'll try to prepare the questionnaire and let you guys see it.

 

Edit: I found http://www.jinhalee.com/wp-con.....-libre.pdf It closely resembles my question though it is only between two cultures. 

Two other papers which are not entirely related but are interesting reads: 

(i) http://deutsch.ucsd.edu/pdf/fr.....ntiers.pdf

(ii)emusicology.org/article/download/4498/3938

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Dan-Hur
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September 12, 2017 - 2:38 pm
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Here's the video. It's pretty interesting, I like the idea of being able to produce unique sounds instead of digital samples that everyone has.

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Fiddlerman
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September 13, 2017 - 8:41 am
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Tipiaowsek said
I was wondering the other day. Do you think that if a person who has never heard music before would be able to perceive a sad tune as being sad or a happy tune as being happy etc?  

Probably they would. They may not even know why. Possibly they would cry.dazed

The happy music would make them smile, laugh and dance.bunny_pole_dancer

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Tipiaowsek
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September 18, 2017 - 3:30 am
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Very interesting video indeed @Dan-Hur ! 

@Fiddlerman I laughed a bit too much at the pole dancing bunny!

Do not practice until you get it right, practice until you can't get it wrong.

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September 18, 2017 - 10:38 pm
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If that person speaks a language, I can't imagine that they could possibly be isolated from even crude music. Spoken tongue utilizes tone and rhythm afterall.

Even the wildman, raised by wolves knows the music nature provides. It's my belief that the origins of music lies there.

The best example for your scenario would be the completely deaf, but even they can feel tonal vibrations and the movements of the elements.

@Dan-Hur Nightmare Machine? There goes the name of my indie metal band.

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Mark
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September 19, 2017 - 12:04 am
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I read an article that stated Sigmund Freud hated music, because he could not logically understand how and why it could affect his feelings and emotions the way it did.  Very interesting!

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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Fiddlerman
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September 19, 2017 - 12:32 pm
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Tipiaowsek said
Very interesting video indeed @Dan-Hur ! 

@Fiddlerman I laughed a bit too much at the pole dancing bunny!  

We have @coolpinkone to blame for that. LOL

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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coolpinkone
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September 25, 2017 - 12:58 pm
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@Fiddlerman

I take full responsibility for the Pole Dancing Bunny.

woooo hooooobunny_pole_dancer

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Fiddlerman
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September 25, 2017 - 9:52 pm
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And so you should. 🙂 I liked it enough that I incorporated it into our emoticons 🙂

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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