On Wed, 8 Oct 2003 14:53:06 -0600, James <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>...The big question is not what is happening physically, but how it
affects the sound.<
I think I am more interested why certain sounds 'are'. Not as a builder,
which I am not, but as a would-be connoisseur of harpsichords, I keep
wondering why some instruments have a personality and others don't, why one
box has a carrying tone and another not etc. So I think I start asking at
the other end. I listen, [so to speak to a sound already affected] and then
I try to figure.
>That's a tough connection to make, in my opinion.<
>But on the other hand, I'm not aware of a large body of careful
experiments under a variety of conditions, either with or without wine.<
I am, having been regularly involved with listening experiments at an age
where I still was denied wine. Shifting bits of wood over soundboard holes.
Comparing similar instruments with minute construction differences. But
blah. I'm not talking about myself here.
I mean exactly this: everyone who is not "aware" of such experiments is
free to start _now_. The only way towards an accumulation of relevant data
is start collecting. I'm collecting quill-lifetime data as you all know.
Also a funny hobby.
>The thing is, the aural processing system is very adaptable and it is
difficult to pin down what it is that we "really" hear.<
Yes, the aural system is adaptable. Analogy to kitchen vapors. Enter an
Indian restaurant, and after a few minutes or so, your acute perception of
spices and so on wears off.
Would you then abruptly be exposed to French kitchen smells instead [lots
of elaborate terrines and vinegar and estragon and wild mushrooms...], you
wouldn't be able to put them anywhere, or probably even like them any much.
I can't judge about the sound characteristics of any harpsichord after a
long car drive, or after having practiced Beethoven on my fortepiano for
weeks. Does it matter. I don't try either. One can adjust, and the
perception _after_ adjusting is what we talk about.
The thing is rather, and this is exactly my point, when we listen to music,
this _is_ what we really hear. Objective data cannot substitute for this,
because we ultimately want to describe what we _hear_, not what we can read
on some meter or so. At least this is what I, as a musician, think.