Note Boat commnets

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Note Boat commnets

Post by Axeman » Sun Sep 28, 2008 10:43 pm

Hi all
I have begun playing Note Boat. I have found it to be an interesting game. I don;t know what it is teaching me but it is quite tricky to hear what notes are being played at times.
The distinction between the E and F notes are sometimes blurred when listening to the ascending arpeggios. I find I can keep up OK but it takes some concentration. If I miss the chord because of the speed I jsut go back to the beginning. I see Chris's point about the objective of the game being to hear a succession of chords and arpeggios and agree that it should stay that way. The option to turn off the animation might be good yet I like to listen as the boats go by and watch the symbols/pics as I listen. This way I get to hear and watch passively.
I can see this game being a real challenge once I get further on with more chords to recognise. It is also a good change from APA which is kind of like no thrill for me now. The target notes in APA seem to be too obvious at times and also a bit ambiguous at other times. The chroma of the notes only seems to last while I'm playing the game and then only for the pitch that I'm testing - it seems to have no lasting impression whereby I can identify the chroma in everyday listening. It is strange because When I used to play APB while I was listening for one pitch occasionally I would hear other pitches jump out at me. I think this is because the game was only adding one new pitch at a time. Because of the order at which they were added the notes were easy enough to recognise relatively (ie. you could hear the notes in relation to C after a long time playing). That is until the F was added after the E note and then the B was added after the F note. I thought that the order would have continued adding in fifths as the program started out. That was as far as I got when APA took over.
When I play random pitches on APA there is no feeling of a relationship to any other note and so my ear has nowhere to 'look' i.e. to compare one note to another. I try to pre hear the target note before playing the test and also try to sing it with varied success. I am also thinking of guitar tunes that I play that have the target pitch in them as well as seeing the note on the staff - also with varied success.
I think it would be good to have a limit on the number of random pitches so the user could add one at a time as well as other things I have mentioned like being able to test in a random round without first having to play the melody trigger of the first egg-test.
All the same thanks to Chris for his ongoing work in improving the games.
Phew! I think that was more than I wanted to say at first. Happy reading!

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Post by aruffo » Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:41 am

I may go back to a more APB-like scheme of introducing new pitches. I wasn't sure what kind of a difference it would make to introduce them all at once or individually, although I had my suspicions; your response seems to confirm those suspicions (if only as an N = 1 anecdote). The primary reason I changed it to all-at-once was that I didn't have a ready answer for the complaints of people who wanted them all at once; I suspect that the problem isn't how many are introduced but how difficult it was to predict when the next one would be added.

Note Boat probably needs more theoretical attention, but it's based on the same theories of language development that Jenny Saffran was working wiith. If you hear a large stream of sound segments, your mind will teach itself to automatically extract the segments; once you're able to extract the segments you will be able to decode them into components. That's how we learn to comprehend, and then to transcribe, spoken language, so I figure it should work for musical segments as well.

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Post by koenig » Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:26 pm

Having just read your explanation I think I understand it a bit better. Still though, should I be thinking I chord, IV chord, V chord? Or trying to ID notes by chroma? Right now I'm getting confused because sometimes the F chord sounds like the I and sometimes the C sounds like the I.

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Post by mochi » Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:17 pm

if note boat works the way you described, would this mean that a categorical concept for each pitch would be formed, or not necessarily?

You know, I never really paid much attention to Note Boat until a few weeks ago, and I think it's already help me with transcription(even if its only because I'm learning to listen more actively- i haven't been using it long enough to say) Funny, I'm actually really curious now about how it theoretically fits into the AP-as-linguistic-ability model for learning AP. I'll have to read more into Saffran's research I guess... Could I ask where you might recommend a total lay person on the Cog-Psych literature should start?

I hope it's not impertinent to ask- you're obviously a busy guy!- but do you see a new front page installment on perceptual category formation on the (albeit distant) horizon- or more detail on the theory behind Note Boat...?

- mochi

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Post by aruffo » Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:30 pm

I recently redesigned the website because I'm on the cusp of finishing the PhD... gotta look better for a potential employer... and once I have finished, I expect to get this research seriously moving again, and we'll see more front-page updates as I look through concept formation and categorical perception.

I believe that I did describe Note Boat somewhere, at some length... I even did a little unofficial experiment in the McMaster student union to test the principle before I wrote it. It's statistical learning, which is an important feature of how we learn spoken language (among other things). When presented with a stream of apparently unbroken sound, our minds will try to make sense of it-- and if there's a pattern that repeats itself, we'll start hearing it and grouping those sounds together into that pattern. This happens automatically, whether we like it or not. Saffran, as I recall, used this principle to do some too-clever research about what infants do or do not perceive absolutely (I say "too-clever" because, although interesting, her data are not persuasive except in the highly specific condition of her testing-- and even then, I find her conclusions suspect) but it is nonetheless a natural principle of human learning.

And if you have access to library resources (i.e., a proxy that gets you access to scientific articles, which are stupidly expensive to non-library patrons) it's kind of strangely easy to get started on a research kick, these days. Just do a Google Scholar search for your phrase-of-interest, and start by looking only at the papers that feature that specific phrase in the title. (in this case, "statistical learning" of language and sound.)

If you don't have access to library resources... hm. That, I'm not too sure about.

Oh, and to answer your specific question: I wouldn't expect people to learn pitch sounds from Note Boat. I would expect people to learn how to recognize, in real-time music, the three-note progressions for each (game-featured) major chord.

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