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Music Unheard

     
8:25 pm on Dec 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Years ago I read an article that mentioned some scientists visiting a tribe living far from civilization. These scientists had brought a gramophone and as an experiment they played a string quartet by Beethoven. Now one would not expect their hosts to understand this music, but observations seemed to show that their lack of comprehension was one step farther away: They did not even _hear_ it!

Webmasters at WebmasterWorld have the strangest kinds of expertise. Does anyone know this story? I would like to know

1. Where did this happen?
2. And when?
3. Where was this story originally told?

Of course I would like to have the exact words from the original source.

Troels

6:38 pm on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I've looked a bit through google using the standard search mo, and nothing popped out. Where did you see this at?
6:45 pm on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

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What do you mean, "They did not even _hear_ it!"?

some keywords you might want to try searching under is:
anthropology (in replacement of scientist) and
ethnomusicology

[edited by: sun818 at 7:07 pm (utc) on Dec. 31, 2002]

6:46 pm on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member korkus2000 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



If you do find it post it here. I am always looking for music and cultural impact information.
8:00 pm on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Brett
I read it in a highbrow danish music magazine some 10 years ago.

sun818
It's not _me_ who is meaning something! And of course it is possible that I simply remember the story wrong or these scientists have misinterpreted the situation. But if the story is correct and if I were to offer some kind of explanation for it, I would most likely have to deal with the choice between a spiritual and a materialistic point of view.

korkus2000

If I find something I'll tell it here.

Right now I am listening to a legendary old recording (1937, Busch Quartet) of a string quartet (his no. 15) composed by the completely deaf Beethoven in 1825.

Outside my home town is making noise. 2003 is three hours away.

8:10 pm on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lorax is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Troels, I can't help with that article but I have this to add.

It is a little known fact that as a child grows up within a culture it learns the sounds of that culture. It is why native Chinese have a hard time with English - there are no sounds for the letters F and R. And if you listen to someone speaking Swahili - you might hear the clicks and pops that are integral to their language - but doubtful you'll hear all of them. So it is easy step to musical notes that might not be heard. The brain can be taught to hear what our ears can discern but it is best taught while we are young and have not developed expected patterns. Once we have evolved into adults, we have assimilated the sound patterns of our native culture and have a hard time hearing anything that may be radically different.

8:31 pm on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I have heard (or read) similar stories about some remote people who had never seen a photograph. When shown a black and white 8 x 10 portrait of a person, they didn't realize at all what it was. They would hold it upside down, look at the back, but they could not "see" it. They could not believe that it was any depiction of a person. It evidently took many minutes (hours?) of them looking at it before they could "see" the image - and then after that they would "see" photographs immediately and correctly.

I guess this makes some sense; we "learn" to "see" two dimensional images (photos, TVs, computer screens, maps) at a very early age. If a person had never seen any such thing, then what?

As to not "hearing" music, I am less sure. It seems all people (maybe even all sentient animals) are always listening for something out of the ordinary because it could mean danger . . .

8:35 pm on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator lawman is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



>>I guess this makes some sense; we "learn" to "see" two dimensional images (photos, TVs, computer screens, maps) at a very early age. If a person had never seen any such thing, then what?

Isn't a reflection a two dimensional image? If so, wouldn't they have an opportunity to view one in still water?

lawman

8:46 pm on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Thank you lorax. I did not know this - or rather: I _did_ know almost all of it, but that knowledge of mine was rather unorganized, so you have been very helpful. Your explanation is in complete concordance with the one that I would give myself.

> Isn't a reflection a two dimensional image?

Interesting question. I tend to think that it actually isn't.

8:48 pm on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member korkus2000 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



A mirror is not a 2d representation. You can focus on items in the foreground and background. There is depth perception with a mirror which you do not get with a static painting or photograph.
8:54 pm on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Is apparent depth true depth?
8:58 pm on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lorax is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



>> I did not know this - or rather: I _did_ know almost all of it,

It makes sense if you think about it. As for the sounds that we don't normally hear being difficult for us to hear: I'm no expert in this field so I freely admit I don't know. Perhaps it's the pattern of sounds rather than the sounds themselves. They may have heard the notes before but not in such an organized, rythmic construct.

10:52 pm on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Is apparent depth true depth?

The apparent distance to a point in a reflected image (assuming a flat mirror - add curvature and it gets much more complicated.) is the sum of the distance from the observer to the mirror and the distance from the mirror to the object whose image is reflectd. I haven't sat down and done the math in a few years, but I remember the result. If you like, I'll dig around for a decent illustration of the fact.

10:54 pm on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Hey Dingman:

What if the only object refleted in a mirror were a two dimensional object. Would that then be a 3D rendering of a 2D object?

11:15 pm on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

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i get the same problem when someone plays jazz!
11:31 pm on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Would that then be a 3D rendering of a 2D object?

No more so than your normal perception of the 2D object would be.

Basically, as far as how the light reaches your eye, there is no difference between looking through a window and looking at a mirror. If it is flat, it will still look flat. If it has depth, it doesn't lose it.

11:53 pm on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator lawman is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



So are we talking about perception (because of the distance light has to travel from an object to the mirror and back) or are we talking about reality, vis. perceived depth v. actual depth.

Please keep in mind that I was a history major and have no scientific background. (everybody's ignorant, just on different subjects according to Will Rogers). :)

lawman

12:02 am on Jan 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member korkus2000 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Here you go Lawman. Everything about reflective physics [glenbrook.k12.il.us] you ever wanted to know (wish my highschool had such detailed info like this one does). My father taught physics at a local college. I grew up listening to stuff like this.
12:04 am on Jan 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Who is Will Rogers? :)
12:09 am on Jan 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator lawman is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Here you go Lawman.

I is a college graduate, but I still like Cliff's Notes. Point me to the part that says a reflected image is three dimensional. :)

lawman

12:11 am on Jan 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator lawman is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Who is Will Rogers?

I just got it. :) :) :)

lawman

12:27 am on Jan 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Other than the fact that an image in a mirror doesn't exist, it has "real" depth. You have to focus differently to see closer things than you do to see things further away.

A photograph has enough other visual cues that we interpret it as having depth, but in fact it has none. You don't have to re-focus your eyes to see objects at different distances from the camera lens - you can't. Photographers make deliberate use of this to focus your attention where they want it, and you can't decide to sharpen up the focus some place else.

Examples: suppose your wife is standing behind you reading over your shoulder. To see her reflection in the monitor, you would have to focus your eyes about two feet *behind* the monitor. If your attention is drawn to the sparkling diamond on her ear, you will have to focus a few inches further behind the screen than if you are instead captured by her smile.

If, on the other hand, you used the digital camera sitting on your monitor to take a picture of her and view it on the screen, you would have to focus your eyes on the screen to see it, and you will not have to focus your eyes differently to look at the earing than to look at the smile.

12:34 am on Jan 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Point me to the part that says a reflected image is three dimensional

It doesn't, exactly. It goes over in decent detail the ray diagrams for image formation of a point. You get from there to three-dimentional images by realizing that an object consists of many different points. A truly three-dimentional image has points that are at different distances from the observer.

12:36 am on Jan 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Examples: suppose your wife is standing behind you reading over your shoulder. To see her reflection in the monitor, you would have to focus your eyes about two feet *behind* the monitor. If your attention is drawn to the sparkling diamond on her ear, you will have to focus a few inches further behind the screen than if you are instead captured by her smile.

If I focus on the image of the sparkling diamond, am I focusing on a two dimensional or three dimensional image?

12:38 am on Jan 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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three in the reflection, two in the picture from your camera.
12:44 am on Jan 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Rule of thumb: if the ray of light entering your eye previously bounced off the object in the image, then the image is three-dimentional. If as far as you know the ray of light entering your eye never touched the object in the image, it's probably two-dimensional.
12:48 am on Jan 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator lawman is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



If I attempted to look at the 3 dimensional reflected image from the edge of the mirror, could I detect the depth?

lawman

<snicker> I can only keep this up until I have to get in the shower to get ready for the New Year's Eve party

12:55 am on Jan 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member mivox is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Light ray bounces off real/3D thingie before it hits your eye = 3D image (light must bounce off real thingie to make reflection, so reflection = 3D)

Light ray does NOT bounce off real/3D thingie before it hits your eye = 2D image

That better? hehehe

I could try translating it into latin, if that would help your lawyerly comprehension, but I ain't so good at them dead languages, so I can't promise coherent results... ;)

12:58 am on Jan 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hunh? You wouldn't be able to see it at all. It's not inside the mirror. It doesn't exist, and it's *behind* the mirror.

No, I'm not pulling your chain. Flat mirrors, convex mirrors, and concave lenses produce "virtual" images - they have no physical existence. Concave mirrors and convex lenses (such as those in telescopes, camera lenses, and your eyes) create "real" images, but even those can't be directly seen from the side.

1:02 am on Jan 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Of course, with a real image you can do something like sticking a white index card in the middle of it to at least see the part of it that is in focus where you put the index card, and move the card back and forth to see the different distance parts in focus at different positions. It's kinda fun.
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