How/why music causes emotion?


by Avichal
Tags: emotion, how or why, music
zoobyshoe
zoobyshoe is offline
#73
Jan16-13, 03:23 PM
zoobyshoe's Avatar
P: 5,616
Quote Quote by Ryan_m_b View Post
Lol funny but not quite firstly just because biology can be art doesn't mean that art is biology (all X can be Y but not all Y can be X). Secondly the term artist and biologist generally refer to people who get paid to do work in those respective fields so its easier to define.
So, when is biology art? Are you an artist when you do your biological thing?
Ryan_m_b
Ryan_m_b is online now
#74
Jan16-13, 03:33 PM
Mentor
Ryan_m_b's Avatar
P: 5,343
Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
So, when is biology art? Are you an artist when you do your biological thing?
Art is really in the eye of the beholder, but as I said above there are many things more recognisable as art because the majority of people find them so (or alternatively the art world define it as so and people go along with it). For most of what I do I doubt many people would get any aesthetic satisfaction from viewing or otherwise experiencing it. But if I were to do a fluorescent stain like the one shown below (which I didn't do but took from google) it would probably be a different story.

BenG549
BenG549 is offline
#75
Jan16-13, 03:46 PM
P: 70
Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
So, when is biology art? Are you an artist when you do your biological thing?
Arguably anything creative can be artistic; intelligent, innovative, creative use of knowledge could be considered artistic in any field. I used mathematics as an example earlier but there is no reason why it couldn't apply to any other scientific field.
BenG549
BenG549 is offline
#76
Jan16-13, 03:54 PM
P: 70
Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
Consider the difference between the "wrong" proportions in a good caricature, and the wrong proportions in a portrait done by someone who can't get the hang of proportion.
If this is what you mean my visual rhythm I think I get it. Analogous to John Cage intentionally playing in wacky (seemingly random) time signatures... and someone who can't play in time?

Just never heard the term visual rhythm before.
zoobyshoe
zoobyshoe is offline
#77
Jan16-13, 04:01 PM
zoobyshoe's Avatar
P: 5,616
Quote Quote by Ryan_m_b View Post
Pretty, but is it art? If yes, who's the artist? Were they stained in order to be pretty? Was the photo record made in order to communicate how pretty they are? There are lots of things that quite incidentally happen to be aesthetically pleasing without that being their intended purpose.

You might make a bunch of stains specifically in order to bring out how pretty they can be, photograph them, and present them, but at that point you would no longer be doing biology.

Quote Quote by Ryan_m_b View Post
It's like art, it can literally be anything...
Try again: when is biology art?
Ryan_m_b
Ryan_m_b is online now
#78
Jan16-13, 04:13 PM
Mentor
Ryan_m_b's Avatar
P: 5,343
Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
Pretty, but is it art? If yes, who's the artist?
As I said art is in the eye of the beholder. If someone looks at this and gets aesthetic satisfaction then for them it's art. There isn't necessarily an artist in the sense that the maker might not refer to themselves as one even though it would be tempting to call them one. It comes down to whether or not you think to be an artist requires intent which is separate to the issue of whether or not art requires intent to be art (I'd argue no).
Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
Were they stained in order to be pretty? Was the photo record made in order to communicate how pretty they are? There are lots of things that quite incidentally happen to be aesthetically pleasing without that being their intended purpose.
I'd argue that intent is irrelevant. Consider that intent can't necessarily be derived from the piece but can still be considered art. This is easiest to see in more "out there" pieces of art that resemble every day items like unmade beds, piles of rubbish, pieces of equipment etc. You could easily set up an exhibit wherein one such piece was intentional and one was left by the janitor and people wouldn't be able to tell which had intent and which didn't and could consider both art.

To look at it another way just the other day I saw on TV a man repeatedly describing an old bridge as a work of art. He was rapturous in describing the emotions he felt looking at the bridge which wasn't that special to look at at all and I doubt the designers and builders intended it to be art. Most likely they intended it to be a means to cross the river. But that doesn't change how the person viewing it felt.
Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
You might make a bunch of stains specifically in order to bring out how pretty they can be, photograph them, and present them, but at that point you would no longer be doing biology.
I feel I've already addressed this but its worth noting that focusing on making images as aesthetically pleasing as possible can be important work as a biologist e.g. To create easy and pleasing to read papers.
Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
Try again: when is biology art?
I don't feel I have to try again though I invite you to try again at understanding my point, now elaborated.

EDIT: to get back to the topic of music, is there a concrete definition that can take into account such disparate pieces as rap with no music and orchestras? If not then if say this question falls in line with art which makes it a more complex question regarding the neurological basis for aesthetics.
BenG549
BenG549 is offline
#79
Jan16-13, 04:28 PM
P: 70
Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
Pretty, but is it art? If yes, who's the artist? Were they stained in order to be pretty?
Well you've said it's pretty, which is an artistic property. You have made the point that information content and artistic qualities exist together in speech, can this not be said of Ryan's example? If I hadn't been told what it was I might look at it and say "that's a nice picture" to me it looks artistic.


Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
There are lots of things that quite incidentally happen to be aesthetically pleasing without that being their intended purpose.
A lot of people would describe these things as artistic. Didn't a urinal appear in the tate recently, I'm sure it's origonal purpose was not to be art but someone took it home who had different ideas... now it's famous art.


Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
Try again: when is biology art?
What stops intelligent, innovative, creative use of knowledge (in any field) being arguably artistic?
zoobyshoe
zoobyshoe is offline
#80
Jan16-13, 04:50 PM
zoobyshoe's Avatar
P: 5,616
Quote Quote by Ryan_m_b View Post
As I said art is in the eye of the beholder. If someone looks at this and gets aesthetic satisfaction then for them it's art.
You're simply conflating the words "art" and "pretty" (and whatever near synonyms mean aesthetically attractive).

art
/ärt/
Noun
The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture,...: "the art of the Renaissance"

Works produced by such skill and imagination.

You can get aesthetic satisfaction from all kinds of things without them being art. Art requires an artist and the intention to create art. Minimum.

I feel I've already addressed this but its worth noting that focusing on making images as aesthetically pleasing as possible can be important work as a biologist e.g. To create easy and pleasing to read papers.
At this point you're no longer doing biology. You're doing graphic art. See? If you are photographing amoeba and you decide to wait until the one on the left moves out of the frame in order to have a better composition, you are, briefly, doing photography and not biology.
Ryan_m_b
Ryan_m_b is online now
#81
Jan16-13, 05:00 PM
Mentor
Ryan_m_b's Avatar
P: 5,343
Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
You're simply conflating the words "art" and "pretty" (and whatever near synonyms mean aesthetically attractive).

art
/ärt/
Noun
The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture,...: "the art of the Renaissance"

Works produced by such skill and imagination.

You can get aesthetic satisfaction from all kinds of things without them being art. Art requires an artist and the intention to create art. Minimum.
I disagree that intent is required for the reasons I've stated. Also I'm not conflating pretty as shown by my comment regarding certain types of modern art and my example of the man calling a bridge a work of art. The experience is far more than visual enjoyment, hence why I use the word aesthetic.

To reiterate my thought experiment: if I showed you a bunch of objects stuck together without telling you if the intent was art or not (or if there was any intent at all, it might have been thrown together by a machine) could you not say it was art on the basis of how it made you feel? And if it was made by machine and I put it in a gallery would that make it art? Even though no artistic intent went into its creation? And bringing this back to music has there not been entirely machine created music? Is that not art because there is no intent?
Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
At this point you're no longer doing biology. You're doing graphic art. See? If you are photographing amoeba and you decide to wait until the one on the left moves out of the frame in order to have a better composition, you are, briefly, doing photography and not biology.
I think you're being too reductionist with this. That's like saying that organising cell stocks isn't biology, it's organisation. Or that ordering stocks isn't because it's admin. Or that putting a plate into a micro plate reader and adjusting the settings isn't etc etc. Why can't photography be a part of biology if its important to the process of research and publication?
zoobyshoe
zoobyshoe is offline
#82
Jan16-13, 05:23 PM
zoobyshoe's Avatar
P: 5,616
Quote Quote by BenG549 View Post
Well you've said it's pretty, which is an artistic property.
You have made the point that information content and artistic qualities exist together in speech, can this not be said of Ryan's example?
What I said was a lot more complex than that:

Quote Quote by zoobyshoe
That's my personal take on why we respond so strongly to music. We recognize the texture, tone, color, line, and rhythm of the human speaking voice in it, greatly enhanced and concentrated, polished, formalized, and otherwise artistically edited.
Quote Quote by BenG549
If I hadn't been told what it was I might look at it and say "that's a nice picture" to me it looks artistic.
I agree, it could be mistaken for a deliberate work of art. Art often mimics biological and natural dynamics.
A lot of people would describe these things as artistic.
By which they would mean they find them aesthetically pleasing. I do too. I could see people using an image like this as a screen saver. It's a coincidence, though. That doesn't make it less pretty, it just makes it not-art.
Didn't a urinal appear in the tate recently, I'm sure it's origonal purpose was not to be art but someone took it home who had different ideas... now it's famous art.
Art can be hijacked for non-artistic purposes. Propaganda, for example:

The movement [Dada] primarily involved visual arts, literature, poetry, art manifestoes, art theory, theatre, and graphic design, and concentrated its anti-war politics through a rejection of the prevailing standards in art through anti-art cultural works. In addition to being anti-war, Dada was also anti-bourgeois and had political affinities with the radical left.
Dada was "anti-art" in the service of a political point. A lot of people never got over Dada and resurrected its "anti-art" aesthetic for shock value at various times. The urinal was one of those times. You're supposed to wonder how the hell it ever got put in a museum.
What stops intelligent, innovative, creative use of knowledge (in any field) being arguably artistic?
Nothing, but it's one thing to say, "Theory x is elegant and aesthetically pleasing." and saying, "Therefore, theorist x has demonstrated that physics is a form of art."
zoobyshoe
zoobyshoe is offline
#83
Jan16-13, 05:47 PM
zoobyshoe's Avatar
P: 5,616
Quote Quote by Ryan_m_b View Post
To reiterate my thought experiment: if I showed you a bunch of objects stuck together without telling you if the intent was art or not (or if there was any intent at all, it might have been thrown together by a machine) could you not say it was art on the basis of how it made you feel?
No. This is what I mean by you conflating "art" and "pretty". "Pretty" stands for whatever aesthetic reaction. You can look at a flower, a biology stain, a cat, or a person and feel the aesthetic effect they inevitably have on you without them being art. I don't turn a flower into art by looking at it and becoming fascinated. It's not art till I draw it, and it's not art after I draw it. The drawing of it is the art.



I think you're being too reductionist with this. That's like saying that organising cell stocks isn't biology, it's organisation. Or that ordering stocks isn't because it's admin. Or that putting a plate into a micro plate reader and adjusting the settings isn't etc etc. Why can't photography be a part of biology if its important to the process of research and publication?
All those things aren't biology, just like I'm not doing art when I empty my pencil sharpener or go buy art materials, or wash graphite smudges off my hands.
Ryan_m_b
Ryan_m_b is online now
#84
Jan16-13, 05:57 PM
Mentor
Ryan_m_b's Avatar
P: 5,343
Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
No. This is what I mean by you conflating "art" and "pretty". "Pretty" stands for whatever aesthetic reaction. You can look at a flower, a biology stain, a cat, or a person and feel the aesthetic effect they inevitably have on you without them being art. I don't turn a flower into art by looking at it and becoming fascinated. It's not art till I draw it, and it's not art after I draw it. The drawing of it is the art.

We have different definitions of pretty because I find little of Magritte's works pretty but many aesthetically pleasing. Regarding a flower you're right I don't think natural things are art, I think they have to be created by people but that doesn't mean you can't get the same feeling towards natural things.
Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
All those things aren't biology, just like I'm not doing art when I empty my pencil sharpener or go buy art materials, or wash graphite smudges off my hands.
So what is biology then? I'd say that biology is the study of living organisms and doing biology includes all the parts of the process.
BenG549
BenG549 is offline
#85
Jan16-13, 06:18 PM
P: 70
Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
What I said was a lot more complex than that:
Yeah but I didn't want to take up soo much space posting your entire comment, I thought my comment would make sense without it, my bad. I'll take that back.

Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
I agree, it could be mistaken for a deliberate work of art. Art often mimics biological and natural dynamics. By which they would mean they find them aesthetically pleasing. I do too. I could see people using an image like this as a screen saver. It's a coincidence, though. That doesn't make it less pretty, it just makes it not-art.
Interesting that you feel that art must be deliberate... to use a similar example to Ryan. If I fell over and dropped everything I had on the floor. Then someone said NO BEN DON'T TOUCH IT... took a picture of it and then a year later some said I want to buy that picture if you its an interesting bit of modern art... at what point did it become art? There is no intent to create art, but a picture of my mess is in the tate.

Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
Nothing, but it's one thing to say, "Theory x is elegant and aesthetically pleasing." and saying, "Therefore, theorist x has demonstrated that physics is a form of art."
Bit picky but I don;t think art has to be aesthetic (assuming that means purely visual). Physics and scientific theories can be considered art without artistic intent... physics is not art.
Ryan_m_b
Ryan_m_b is online now
#86
Jan16-13, 06:22 PM
Mentor
Ryan_m_b's Avatar
P: 5,343
Quote Quote by BenG549 View Post
Then someone said NO BEN DON'T TOUCH IT... took a picture of it and then a year later some said I want to buy that picture if you its an interesting bit of modern art... at what point did it become art? There is no intent to create art, but a picture of my mess is in the tate.
To sidestep the (possibly legitimate) argument that the act of taking the picture made the art and that the picture, not just the subject, is the art we could propose that said person carefully picked up the mess and put it in the Tate.
BenG549
BenG549 is offline
#87
Jan16-13, 06:27 PM
P: 70
Quote Quote by Ryan_m_b View Post
To sidestep the (possibly legitimate) argument that the act of taking the picture made the art and that the picture, not just the subject, is the art we could propose that said person carefully picked up the mess and put it in the Tate.
Yeah that makes sense... I was just trying not to directly copy your example lol.
Ms Music
Ms Music is offline
#88
Jan16-13, 06:37 PM
P: 173
I would like to throw my two cents in the hat for the topic, although I have only read the first page so I have no idea if someone else has stated this yet.

I see music as no different than color. We have settled on specific color frequencies, and have color wheels that show what colors go well with each other. If you like the color combinations an artist used on a painting, you will find it appealing. If you like the tone combinations in a music piece, you will find it appealing.

I remember a couple of years ago seeing an article about an ancient flute, and the scientists had made a replica that they had played and posted the mp3. I was amazed at the modern tones, it was "in tune" with any hand made modern flute might use. I think it is something in our brains, where we find the frequencies in color and music as universally appealing.
BenG549
BenG549 is offline
#89
Jan16-13, 06:51 PM
P: 70
Quote Quote by Ms Music View Post
I would like to throw my two cents in the hat for the topic, although I have only read the first page so I have no idea if someone else has stated this yet.
Given the name Ms Music I would imagine your 'two cents' are worth a lot more than that in this discussion!

Quote Quote by Ms Music View Post
I see music as no different than color. We have settled on specific color frequencies, and have color wheels that show what colors go well with each other. If you like the color combinations an artist used on a painting, you will find it appealing. If you like the tone combinations in a music piece, you will find it appealing.
I agree, but I also made the case that what we find appealing is learned behaviour and things 'foreign' to us will be less appealing because it's different, not because it is objectively worse. I used example such as Gamelan music.

Quote Quote by Ms Music View Post
I remember a couple of years ago seeing an article about an ancient flute, and the scientists had made a replica that they had played and posted the mp3. I was amazed at the modern tones, it was "in tune" with any hand made modern flute might use. I think it is something in our brains, where we find the frequencies in color and music as universally appealing.
The basic physics of most traditional instruments (particularly ones involving subtractive synthesis; woodwinds and brass i.e. make a noise source (lips) and a cavity will 'filter' this noise) has not really changed. It's just resonance and you change the length or size of the cavity to change its resonant frequencies, and hence, harmonics (over tones). Dissonance in music can however be used to invoke emotion as much as nice harmonies. Not so pleasing though.

I tried to find articles on testing different musical intervals on infants i.e. blank un socialised canvases, to see if there was any truth in the idea that we are inclined naturally to appreciate 'nice harmony' over clashing tones, but couldn't really find anything.
Ms Music
Ms Music is offline
#90
Jan16-13, 07:25 PM
P: 173
Hi Ben. Certainly, you learn to like certain music styles because of familiarity. I was going for a more fundamental aspect, but there is nothing wrong with your point. FYI I listened to Rachmaninoff the other day. His music makes me happy.

And BTW, I found the article with the mp3. 35,000 years ago this flute played tones that modern man still find appealing.

http://cosmiclog.nbcnews.com/_news/2...r-cavemen?lite

Now that I find amazing. My brother makes native American flutes, and it is basically the same tones, 35,000 years later. Awesome.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Emotion is the sensation of the enzymatic/biochemical secretion Biology 0
brain activity is 30 times more active when emotional Medical Sciences 1
Jet li + asian music video = bad american music^2 General Discussion 2
My sister dislikes chocolate icecream Biology 1