requiring pitch to perform daily functions

Comments and questions about AP Avenue.
RockofStrength
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Postby RockofStrength » Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:46 am

As far as I can tell, sound cannot be placed into this paradigm. I have been unable to imagine an object whose pitch-sound persists, consistently, as a definitive characteristic.


Actually there is an object that possesses this property: a lightsaber = F#

RockofStrength
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Postby RockofStrength » Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:09 pm

Actually there is an object that possesses this property: a lightsaber = F#


But Yoda's saber is G# (because it's smaller).

aruffo
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Postby aruffo » Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:06 pm

The pitch sound is not definitive of the light-saber object. When the light-saber is inactive, the pitch is not present.

aruffo
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Postby aruffo » Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:29 pm

And even if I imagined an active light-saber complete with sound, I still don't know whether I am correctly imagining the pitch unless I either a) compare it to the actual sound effect or b) compare it to another pitch.

In other words, for the light saber, I can't know that I've remembered the correct pitch sound without being told (i.e., without being given a pitch).

RockofStrength
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Postby RockofStrength » Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:51 pm

In other words, for the light saber, I can't know that I've remembered the correct pitch sound without being told (i.e., without being given a pitch).


Isn't that the same thing as a colorblind person having an overgeneralized 'green' concept for an object? The pitch in your mental representation of a lightsaber should be as accurate as your ability to conceptualize chroma.

Sleeper
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Postby Sleeper » Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:53 pm

I guess my concern would be that this is still aimed at naming single notes. What would you think if you'd hear "C, D, E" in a musical context? Think, "FirefoxMSWordPhotoshop!"


Anyway, if you think of the note F# (in isolation) and then think of the note C# (in isolation) it should start to sound like a melody (not just two notes in isolation). Chances are, if you don't have absolute pitch, it won't (regardless of whether you remember the individual notes in tune or not).

That's why I think that's the important skill to work on.

aruffo
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Postby aruffo » Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:30 pm

I would assert that single notes are not heard in a musical context-- not any more than single phonemes are heard in a linguistic context. (which they aren't.) Pitches are important for coding (and decoding) musical communication into (and out of) its basic components. They, like letters, must be learned as concepts, not as sounds. [At least, so sez me.]

Accordingly, if what I'm now contemplating is a new idea, then what you have described is still backwards. You are imagining that, for example, C would become "the Firefox note." No. The thought process would NOT be "Firefox = C." It would instead be something like

"I want to web browse."
*conceptualize C*
*produce conceived pitch*
Firefox shows up.

If this is indeed nothing more than "C = Firefox", then of course it will fail, just like a bazillion other associate-a-note-to-something schemes before it.

If instead I am right to think that this is an act of communication-- of speaking to the computer, "run Firefox now"-- then this will not be a random association, but a mental concept that is communicated to the computer as any other word would be. By running Firefox, the computer would not be giving a "right answer!" cue as could be accomplished just by flashing "yes" or "no" on the screen; it would be responding to your command.

Will it work? Haven't a clue. Well, no, I have the one clue of "top-down processing," but that's not much of a clue. But I do have reason to believe that this idea may be different from what's been tried before.

Sleeper
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Postby Sleeper » Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:21 pm

At least it might be an opportunity for more immersion, for adults who don't have time to play hearing games all day.

But it's probably true that people don't open programs enough. Using pitches for commands (copy, paste, etc.) would probably be a better way to go.

TS
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Postby TS » Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:32 am

How does learning colours avoid the Catch-22? To me it seems that it's just the same there. I see a fire engine that is red. But how do I know it's red? Because it's a fire engine.

Or if I draw a fire engine, how do I know how to colour it? Well, I compare the red crayon to a real fire engine to see if they match.

If the task must be speaking to the computer, then it could perhaps be a game where the player controls a robot on a playing field with pitch commands. C is turn left, D is turn right, G is move forward, A is pick up object, E is drop object, and you pass a level when you move all objects to one corner of the field. This kind of a game could be more self guided by the player, there is no single right answer, the robot can be moved through different paths and played with.

But then, why would you not be able to play this kind of a game using relative pitch? Perhaps the robot commands would transpose or otherwise change each new level? Or would that just encourage relative perception?

aruffo
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Postby aruffo » Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:48 am

Hm... maybe it is the same. The difference I'm thinking of is the fact that color is both definitive and persistent. Neither of these qualities apply to an ordinary pitch-object association; pitch is defined by the energy of an action, not a state of being, and by its physical nature does not persist.

Now that you mention it, there is a Pinocchio coloring book in the children's waiting area at the psychology building, and I noticed last week that some immature hand had scribbled all the "wrong" colors onto the puppet's image.

But no... you say, rhetorically, what I suspect to be the critical issue: "How do I know it's red? Because it's a fire engine." That is, if you look at something which you know, conceptually, to be a fire engine, then you know you must be looking at "red". You have confirmation without any knowledge of or comparison to any other colors... because a "fire engine" is a unique concept which is not itself a color, but which produces only red.

The world is full of objects which are definitively colored. Sometimes the concept is its objective existence (fire truck, grass, strawberries); sometimes the concept is its functional nature (a stoplight may be red, yellow, or green); but in every case, the color may be seen, perceived, and correctly recognized by the object-concept alone, without any explicit knowledge of or reference to abstract color-concepts.

I can think of no such object for pitch. I'm not aware of any object on the planet that has a universally definitive pitch. Usually, when I can think of an object produces a consistent pitch, that pitch has been arbitrarily selected, or at the very least is unique to a specific action of that single instance of that particular object.

So I will reiterate what I imagine may be the key mechanism, replacing the critical word: a [pitch] may be seen, perceived, and correctly recognized by an object-concept alone, without any explicit knowledge of or reference to abstract pitch-concepts.

My expectation is the possibility that, by using pitch to accomplish particular tasks, we may stop thinking of it as a pitch-concept and instead integrate its physical production with some other concept. When I produce the word "bubble" I am not thinking about the production of letters and phonemes, but I produce them all the same. I know I have succeeded not by reflecting on and analyzing the individual sounds I have created, nor by my listener telling me "that was correctly spoken." I know because the other person receives the idea of a bubble.

Sleeper
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Postby Sleeper » Sat Feb 06, 2010 5:38 pm

aruffo wrote:I would assert that single notes are not heard in a musical context-- not any more than single phonemes are heard in a linguistic context. (which they aren't.)


Surely, though, it should be possible to "sound out" a melody by thinking of its component notes, just as it is possible to sound out a word by thinking of its component phonemes?

aruffo
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Postby aruffo » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:10 am

Surely, though, it should be possible to "sound out" a melody by thinking of its component notes, just as it is possible to sound out a word by thinking of its component phonemes?

Undoubtedly-- but this is production, not perception. When you listen to linguistic communication you do not hear phonemes, you hear syllables and structures. If you try to pick out phonemes and letters while you listen, it's a completely different process.

aruffo
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Postby aruffo » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:07 am

I spoke with Dan Levitin today at the LOVE conference.

Although he agreed that, to his knowledge, this idea of produce-a-tone-to-achieve-a-consequence had not yet been tried to any meaningful degree, he wasn't at all convinced that there was any reason to expect it to work as a training mechanism.

He did give me some interesting ways to test some other ideas I gots, though.

lorelei
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Postby lorelei » Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:37 am

These projects are really interesting. The problem, though, is that everything else has a pitch that can be picked up by a microphone. However, it might work if every appliance has a small mike which isn't overly sensitive and you sing into it. Would this help?

Axeman
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similar to anmal songs

Postby Axeman » Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:26 am

This discussion seems to be similar to the way that animals use song. I remember seeing a documentary on songs of various creatures. In particular the songs of orca whales are distinctive to family groups. If an unrelated pod of whales comes near a family group they know them as strangers because they sing differently.
I suppose this is similar to human speech i.e. how we recognize foreigners. However, it stands to reason that if say a canary chic wants food form its parents or when it later wants to breed it must produce the right chirp or song. And I think it is true that the song of birds has virtually no deviation in pitch for any particular species. So they are doing exactly what is being discussed here to achieve real outcomes by singing a particular pitch or series of notes.
I also remember seeing Mr Wonka on Charlie and the chocolate factory open a door using a tune. I remember thinking that that was a cool idea.

Is it easier to pick up a whistle electronically?


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