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 Forum index » Discussion » Composition
How Music Hijacks Our Perception of Time
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Acoustic Interloper



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:44 am    Post subject: How Music Hijacks Our Perception of Time
Subject description: Issue 9: Time - Nautilus
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I am not sure whether How Music Hijacks Our Perception of Time belongs in the Composition forum, but it certainly has implications for composition.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Opening line is, "A composer details how music works its magic on our brains." Yeah, Composition.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Interesting, thanks for sharing. Are there any other pieces of music that you yourself feel distort time like this?
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Antimon wrote:
Interesting, thanks for sharing. Are there any other pieces of music that you yourself feel distort time like this?

When I get thoroughly involved in a piece of music, whether listening or performing, I tend to feel outside of space. Normal space falls away.

Maybe falling outside of space means falling outside of space and time. I know, when I get absorbed in working on music, that I totally lose track of time, until my wife yells at me to get to bed Very Happy I guess she is my only objective measuring device. I certainly don't look at the clock Cool

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

interesting - I think this was also the subject of Richard Pinhas's (Heldon) Ph D thesis - it sounds as if he then applied some of those ideas in the 70s/80s.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for posting this, Dale. I didn't know about this journal. It has some interesting articles.

Most articles have an academic tone (too many words) which has the affect on me of making time go slow, inducing me to scan through these articles to try to get to the point.

For me, when listening to good music, my mind moves from one level of perception to another. For example, there is nature of the sounds that evokes memories and imagination. The music begs for some sort of conscious musical analysis - form, tonality, ethnicity, style, rhythm, etc. Then there is always an awareness of the performer(s) - their skill, apparent involvement, showmanship, etc. There is also the evocative nature of the music that can send you imagination and emotions soaring. Sometimes, a particular part in the musical mix will attract and hold my attention. There are many more levels of perception.

I like historical recordings on Victrola records. These take me back in time.

Moving from one level to another while listening does distort the experience of time, sense of self, and many other states of awareness. It's a blessed thing, indeed.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

ChamomileShark wrote:
interesting - I think this was also the subject of Richard Pinhas's (Heldon) Ph D thesis - it sounds as if he then applied some of those ideas in the 70s/80s.

Here is a nice little article on Pinhas from May 29.
Quote:
2. Let the music take its time

“Welcome in the Void” contains two tracks, one lasting four minutes and the other more than an hour. Pinhas takes these durations seriously: He has spoken frequently about his philosophy concerning the relationship between time and music. (He holds a PhD in philosophy from the Sorbonne, where he studied with influential thinker Gilles Deleuze.)

According to Pinhas, the length of each piece is up to the piece itself. “Each one has its own internal length, its own clock,” he explains. “So if a piece is two minutes, it has to be two minutes; if it’s one hour, it has to be one hour. ‘Welcome in the Void’ had to be as long as it is. After months and months of hearing it, I have no doubt about this.”

An awful lot of factors about our perceptions of time are social and psychological. That doesn't make them any less real than strictly physical constructs in the sense of physics, but it helps to make them plastic. Even physical time is plastic, of course. Good music making creates or extends a virtual reality in which normally static dimensions like time can become dynamic.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Of course, there is a huge difference in the duration of a piece and our sense of time. Sometimes, there are physical causes for duration.

The most prominent physical constraint that comes to my mind is the less than 3 minute duration of pop music tunes. This comes from the maximum capacity of the 10 inch 78 RPM disks that was invented in 1900. By the the longer formats became available in the 1950s, 2 to 3 minutes had began to feel right for pop and folk music. I think it may still be the customary length for a "song".

Before that, as best as I can tell, 5 to 10 minutes was the chosen length by composers for a movement or section.

In any case, what feels natural for a piece is cultural. African tribal music often lasts for hours uninterrupted.

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