This study investigated whether musical training and bilingualism are associated with enhancements in specific components of executive function, namely, task switching and dual-task performance. Participants belonging to one of four groups were matched on age and socioeconomic status and administered task switching and dual-task paradigms. Results demonstrated reduced global and local switch costs in musicians compared with non-musicians, suggesting that musical training can contribute to increased efficiency in the ability to shift flexibly between mental sets. On dual-task performance, musicians also (...) outperformed non-musicians. There was neither a cognitive advantage for bilinguals relative to monolinguals, nor an interaction between music and language to suggest additive effects of both types of experience. These findings demonstrate that long-term musical training is associated with improvements in task switching and dual-task performance. (shrink)
Much of what we know and love about music is based on implicitly acquired mental representations of musical pitches and the relationships between them. While previous studies have shown that these mental representations of music can be acquired rapidly and can influence preference, it is still unclear which aspects of music influence learning and preference formation. This article reports two experiments that use an artificial musical system to examine two questions: (1) which aspects of music matter most for learning, and (...) (2) which aspects of music matter most for preference formation. Two aspects of music are tested: melody and harmony. In Experiment 1 we tested the learning and liking of a new musical system that is manipulated melodically so that only some of the possible conditional probabilities between successive notes are presented. In Experiment 2 we administered the same tests for learning and liking, but we used a musical system that is manipulated harmonically to eliminate the property of harmonic whole-integer ratios between pitches. Results show that disrupting melody (Experiment 1) disabled the learning of music without disrupting preference formation, whereas disrupting harmony (Experiment 2) does not affect learning and memory but disrupts preference formation. Results point to a possible dissociation between learning and preference in musical knowledge. (shrink)
This paper aims to examine the awesome, almost spiritual feeling I experience as an?extreme spectator? while watching Kelly Slater ride the monstrous waves of Pipeline. Drawing on the aesthetics of Kant and Schopenhauer, I examine the experience of the sublime and how it, in conjunction with the perceived kinetic melody of Slater's movements and his karmic connection to the environment in which he thrives, gives rise to the deeply felt awe of the extreme spectator. My intention is to use (...) Slater's case as a paradigm that can be applied to many other athletic performances which share the characteristics discussed in the paper. (shrink)
In recent issues of this journal, Roger Scruton and Malcolm Budd have debated the question whether hearing a melody in a sequence of sounds necessarily involves an ‘unasserted thought’ about spatial movement. According to Scruton, the answer is ‘yes’; according to Budd, the answer is ‘no’. The conclusion of this paper is that, while Budd may have underestimated the viability of Scruton's thesis in one of its possible interpretations, there is no good reason to assume that the thesis is (...) true. Very briefly, the argument for the second part of the conclusion is that we can account for all the data adduced by Scruton in favour of his hypothesis by means of hypotheses that are far less daring. (shrink)
. A structured awareness of time lies at the core of the law's distinctive normativity. Melody is offered as a rough model of this mindfulness of time, since some important features of this awareness are also present in a hearer's grasp of melody. The model of melody is used, first, to identify some temporal dimensions of intentional action and then to highlight law's mindfulness of time. Its role in the structure of legal thinking, and especially in precedent‐sensitive (...) legal reasoning, is explored. This article argues further that melody‐modeled mindfulness of time is evident also at a deeper and more pervasive level, giving structure to the distinctive mode of law's normative guidance. The article draws one important theoretical consequence from this exploration, namely, that the normative coherence of momentary legal systems depends conceptually on their coherence over time. (shrink)
The stormy development of vocal production during the first postnatal weeks is generally underestimated. Our longitudinal studies revealed an amazingly fast unfolding and combinatorial complexification of pre-speech melodies. We argue that relying on “melody” could provide for the immature brain a kind of filter to extract life-relevant information from the complex speech stream.
It has long been known from the extant ancient Greek musical documents that some composers correlated melodic contour with word accents. Up to now, the evidence of this compositional technique has been judged impressionistically. In this article a statistical method of interpretation through computer simulation is set forth and applied to the musical texts, focusing on the convention of correlating a word¿s accent with the highest pitch level in the melody for that word: the Pitch Height Rule. The results (...) provide a sounder basis for judging evidence for the operation of this convention in specific pieces and a sharper delineation of its use in the history of ancient Greek music. The ¿rule¿ was used by at least some composers from the late second century BC through the second century AD, but there is no certainty that it was used before or after this period. In some cases where previous scholars have discovered the rule¿s operation, statistical analysis casts doubt. Of special interest is the showing that one piece long judged as offering no evidence of the use of the rule probably displays an inversion or parody of the rule for rhetorical-musical effect. (shrink)
Music has been seen since the Romantic era as the quintessentially temporal art, possessing a unique capacity to invoke the human experience of time. The Melody of Time explores the multiple ways in which music may provide insight into the problematics of time, spanning the dynamic century between Beethoven and Elgar.
The mere exposure phenomenon (repeated exposure to a stimulus is sufficient to improve attitudes toward that stimulus) is one of the most inspiring phenomena associated with Robert Zajonc’s long and productive career in social psychology. In the first part of this article, Richard Moreland (who was trained by Zajonc in graduate school) describes his own work on exposure and learning, and on the relationships among familiarity, similarity, and attraction in person perception. In the second part, Sascha Topolinski (a recent graduate (...) who never met Zajonc, but found his ideas inspirational) describes his own work concerning embodiment and fluency in the mere exposure effect. Also, several avenues for future research on the mere exposure phenomenon are identified, further demonstrating its continuing relevance to the field. (shrink)
A great deal of effort has been, and continues to be, devoted to developing consciousness artificially (A small selection of the many authors writing in this area includes: Cotterill (J Conscious Stud 2:290–311, 1995 , 1998 ), Haikonen ( 2003 ), Aleksander and Dunmall (J Conscious Stud 10:7–18, 2003 ), Sloman ( 2004 , 2005 ), Aleksander ( 2005 ), Holland and Knight ( 2006 ), and Chella and Manzotti ( 2007 )), and yet a similar amount of effort has (...) gone in to demonstrating the infeasibility of the whole enterprise (Most notably: Dreyfus ( 1972/1979 , 1992 , 1998 ), Searle ( 1980 ), Harnad (J Conscious Stud 10:67–75, 2003 ), and Sternberg ( 2007 ), but there are a great many others). My concern in this paper is to steer some navigable channel between the two positions, laying out the necessary pre-conditions for consciousness in an artificial system, and concentrating on what needs to hold for the system to perform as a human being or other phenomenally conscious agent in an intersubjectively-demanding social and moral environment. By adopting a thick notion of embodiment—one that is bound up with the concepts of the lived body and autopoiesis (Maturana and Varela 1980 ; Varela et al. 2003 ; and Ziemke 2003 , 2007a , J Conscious Stud 14(7):167–179, 2007b )—I will argue that machine phenomenology is only possible within an embodied distributed system that possesses a richly affective musculature and a nervous system such that it can, through action and repetition, develop its tactile-kinaesthetic memory, individual kinaesthetic melodies pertaining to habitual practices, and an anticipatory enactive kinaesthetic imagination. Without these capacities the system would remain unconscious, unaware of itself embodied within a world. Finally, and following on from Damasio’s ( 1991 , 1994 , 1999 , 2003 ) claims for the necessity of pre-reflective conscious, emotional, bodily responses for the development of an organism’s core and extended consciousness, I will argue that without these capacities any agent would be incapable of developing the sorts of somatic markers or saliency tags that enable affective reactions, and which are indispensable for effective decision-making and subsequent survival. My position, as presented here, remains agnostic about whether or not the creation of artificial consciousness is an attainable goal. (shrink)
Asked about Wittgenstein's contribution to aesthetics, one might think first of all of his discussion of ‘family resemblance’ concepts, in which he argued that the various instances of games, for example, need not have any feature or set of features in common, in virtue of which they are all called games; the concept of a game can function perfectly well without any such set of conditions. This insight was soon applied to the much debated quest for a definition of the (...) word ‘art’, and it was claimed that here too the various instances of art were related by way of family resemblance, so that it was futile to look for a condition or set of conditions, which works of art, and only works of art, had in common. Wittgenstein himself did not extend his argument to the concept of art. Although he was deeply interested in the arts, especially music, he wrote very little on aesthetics, his most sustained treatment of the topic being available for us only in the form of notes taken of a set of his lectures on aesthetics. (shrink)
Although Newman’s Fifteenth Oxford University Sermon is often considered a precursor to An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (1845), the following essay views this Sermon as an expression of Newman’s personal struggle from 1839 to 1845: in the midst of confusion, he pondered; against the threat of liberal skepticism, he defended truth; in the face of doubt, he reaffirmed his relationship with God.
In Plato’s Symposium Eryximachus provides a metaphysical theory based on the attraction of basic elements which he applies to a variety of domains, including music. In the text of his speech there is a variation in the manuscripts at 187d2 between two readings, “μέλεσί τε καὶ μέτροις” and “μέλεσί τε καὶ ῥυθμοῖς”. Though the former is almost universally followed, I argue that the latter is the correct reading, based on three sources of evidence: (1) the manuscript tradition, (2) Plato’s style (...) and diction, and (3) the logic of the passage. In all three cases ῥυθμοῖς is the preferable reading. (shrink)
If, as Maurice Merleau-Ponty writes, “True philosophy consists in relearning to look at the world,” and if Merleau-Ponty is accordingly often described as a philosopher of the body or a philosopher of painting, how are we to understand the apparently new turn to music that Merleau Ponty makes toward the end of the final completed chapter, entitled “The Intertwining—The Chiasm,” of The Visible and the Invisible? I argue that the course of the “Chiasm” chapter moves from a concern for the (...) reciprocal intertwining of body and world to a concern for the Ineinander of temporality. Thus, there are two dimensions involved in forming Merleau-Ponty’s chiastic structure of the flesh: the fecundity of the sensible world in the dimension of simultaneity and the transcendence of the subject in the dimension of succession. The aim of this article is to explore the part of this structure that pertains to the temporal movement of transcendental intersubjectivity. Focusing on Merleau-Ponty’s adaptation of Husserl’s term, Ineinander, I trace the musical context of the term from Merleau-Ponty’s course notes, “Philosophie aujourd’hui” to the final passages from the “Chiasm” chapter of The Visible and the Invisible, understanding the Ineinander as it pertains to the relation of past and present. Contrary to the overflowing sense of presence experienced by the body in the world, the Ineinander is characterized by succession—by the écart—and finds its natural expression in the movement of music. Thus, the chiastic structure at the heart of Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy of the flesh expresses not only the immersion of a body in the world that sees; it expresses also, as that which is no longer and that which is to come, a creative, melodic movement of time. (shrink)