Thursday, September 22, 2011


Since my car broke down on the way to campus today, clearing up my early afternoon and one of my classes, I obviously took this time to write for a bit. To justify this post, I already finished an assignment due tomorrow. Take that, time management skills!

Yesterday in my research methods class, a classmate was discussing a potential topic for her thesis. She was interested in the relationship between musical ability and accent/dialect/language recognition and distinction. If a musician can precisely identify minor variations in musical sounds, would this skill carry over into other areas? This may sound simple on the surface, but I promise you, it’s more complicated than you think. This got me thinking about the technicalities of the “skill” necessary for identifying and classifying those distinctions. What about artists? Paying close attention to detail is critical in art. To the typical person with average artistic talent, you may look at an image and notice something is askew, but it may be difficult to pinpoint exactly why you feel the image is off. Someone with more experience can quickly detect that the lighting doesn’t correctly correspond to the shading or that the scaling of a body is incorrect. Capturing those distinctions could involve deeper cognitive processes…that I don’t quite understand yet, but it would be really cool if this were the case!

Anyway, the library is freezing, I need coffee, and I’m not exactly doing work, so I’m going to log off. Later!


  1. That's a really cool idea! There was an episode of Radiolab where they were looking at the phenomenon of perfect pitch in music and how it relates to language. They compared Chinese and English speakers who both had advanced musical training from a young age (I think they used students at the Eastman School of Music) and found that instances of people with perfect or near perfect pitch were much higher among Chinese speakers, since it's a tonal language.

  2. That is really cool! And makes complete sense - the girl I was talking to definitely wanted to use tonal languages in her research.