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Showing posts from 2012

Pitch Perfection - a psychological perspective

Adherence to shruti is the greatest truth in music.  Every system of note in the world places extreme importance in tuneful renditions of the basic 12 tones within an octave.  In reality, the yardsticks of what is tuneful varies from system to system.  For instance, certain note values in Just-Intonation system of natural melodic systems in the world like Carnatic Music (CM)/Hindustani (HM) are different to those heard in Equal Tempered-Tuning system, embraced in the West.

Varied yardsticks
In friendly terms, Just intonation is based on laws of physics and aesthetics, but the intervals between any two notes in an octave is not constant.  While this sounds beautiful when notes are heard one after the other, it can create problems when certain note-combinations are rendered simultaneously by orchestras.  Therefore, for reasons of harmony, Western scholars 'averaged out' some note values to create equal intervals between the 12 tones.   Violin-legend Yehudi Menuhin has gone on re…

Success through Inertia

Most of us blame inertia for not doing something or for not even feeling up to doing something, I ruminated on the negative spell this Newtonian Law of Physics seems to exert on peoples psyches all around.  

It dawned upon me this morning that inertia is not responsible for only this pathetic apathetic state of mind.  It can as easily be tapped positively so that we end up doing a lot of things beneficial to ourselves or others. 

In fact, millions have done it (and continue to do so) under various garbs.  

What is inertia?  To paraphrase Newton, "An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction - unless acted upon by an external force".  

This is as true for human minds and bodies too.  In fact, to a lesser degree, it is true for human  emotions too.  

We see the victims all the time - sedentary people continue to revel in it day in and day out, alcoholics and other addicts continue to be so and so forth.  

To a …