Thursday, December 01, 2005

A Cosmic Varianche!

I know some bloggers dream about getting linked by Instapundit or Atrios. I'm happy to get a mention from the premiere physics blogs out there. My previous brush with heavy traffic was over a year ago, when Virginia Postrel linked to my post on the anthems in the Olympics. Welcome to all Cosmic Variance visitors. You may find my posts on acoustics of interest.

Continuing our theme of hit rates and the science blogosphere, we see a request by PZ Meyers to list the percentage of international visitors and political affiliation. My current counter has 24% international*, not as high as PZ's, but higher than Powerline. I am socially liberal and fiscally conservative, which means that I vote Democrat.

Checking my referrals, amongst the Cosmic Varianchers and Uncertain Principlists I found proof of my international stardom: a link from a Norwegian blog.

And moving from traffic stats to pure science, Dave Munger has another cool post on music cognition. This time, it is on identifying musical styles. In the comments, I point out a worry that using one composer could cause problems because of a certain unity of musical language or lack of aesthetic investment in some of the styles. David Cope created EMI, a computer program that can mimic composers by stealing bits from existing pieces to create new pieces. Thus a brand new Bach chorale or Chopin mazurka is created. Dalla Bella and Peretz could replicate the experiment using piano pieces composed by EMI in the style of Bach, Mozart, Chopin, and Schoenberg, without worrying that musicians would recognize the pieces or that artificial similarities or deficiencies were present. In fact, EMI-composed pieces seem to be a boon for many music cognition studies. Note to self.

*6% Canada; 5% UK; 4% Finland; 2% each Norway, Mexico, Australia; 1% each Poland, Lithuania, Italy.

1 comment:

Peter (the other) said...

As to the identifying musical styles, I like the paper from Emmanual Bigand, delivered to the Neurosciences and Music II conference (last spring in Leipzig)called The time course of emotional responses to music which showed that people make judgements as to the emotional content of a piece of music by 250ms, and that the judgement at 1s and 25s was very similar.

I guess us humans be pretty much expert at this music stuff, in general. Conciously or unconciously. It always gets me: when scientists assume non-musicians have little knowledge of music, like we, all, are not bombarded with it night and day.