Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Turning of the Notes

This is a nice, fun exploration of the science and history of music done by one of my favourite comedians. I came across this while trying to find if it's possible to either buy or pirate a copy of the soundtrack to Cronenberg's "Naked Lunch" (spoiler: no to both), and then thinking about patterns in music. I like the idea of alien life discovering humanity, and initially trying to communicate with us via our music rather than our explicit languages. Maybe such an effort could tell us something about how our aesthetics work. Maybe we could discover more about our aesthetics if we looked at them ourselves this way.

I don't remember if I blogged (or plus-posted) anything about this recent VSauce video but in case I didn't, I thought it was interesting to hear about the distinction between all possible permutations of song elements and things that are distinguishable or likable by humans. His efforts to reduce the space felt conceptually similar to me to either lossless compression (things we can't easily distinguish; lossless if we consider the actual music to be the impressions on a person) or lossy (things we won't like). And yes, I'm playing a bit fast and loose with these concepts. Still, the more we prune that space down towards actual aesthetics, the more we actually understand aesthetics. Are musical aesthetics much like a language?


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