Re: lyrics (Jont Allen )

Subject: Re: lyrics
From:    Jont Allen  <jba(at)RESEARCH.ATT.COM>
Date:    Wed, 29 Apr 1998 17:32:29 -0400

Arty Samuel wrote: > > List members, > > A graduate student in our program asked me the question below. I > would appreciate any suggestions you have to offer, to get him > started. > > Thanks, > Arty Samuel > > The question: > > I want to look into how people perceive and generate meaning from > speech in songs. The way I've thought of to get at this involves > looking at how people process noisy signals of various kinds with > regard to understanding their meaning. I've also been thinking about > an analogy to the hidden pictures used in visual perception: Take the > spotty picture that becomes a dalmatian sniffing at the ground. Once > you know what the picture is of, you can't avoid seeing the dog. > Similarly, after I've listened to songs with the lyrics in front of > me it becomes difficult to hear the speech as anything but what's > written. It isn't impossible though, because sometimes when I've done > this I retain memory for an incorrect interpretation that I generated > from earlier listenings, one that can compete with the correct one on > the same and later listenings. Additionally, I've looked at lyrics > that were incorrect while listening to a song, and they served as > kind of an anchor point for me to compare the written words with the > speech in the song, allowing me to determine that the words sung were > not what I had in front of me (while I think it would be unlikely > that I could have determined the actual words at all or as easily > without the written lyrics). > I hope this is clear enough to help others help me. This is not about songs as much as it is about information processing in general. It is a complex topic, that requires a background in information theory (along with lots of other field tossed in) to even formulate the problem. It is, in a few words, a basket full. Jont -- Jont B. Allen, Room E161 AT&T Labs-Research 180 Park AV. Florham Park NJ 07932 973/360-8545voice, x8092fax Win95? Bin der, dun dat. --Bill

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