“That error sounds rather good….”   Leave a comment

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/19/science/19brain.html?pagewanted=1&

If you’re a fan of the special sound of a live performance, this fascinating article goes into many of the complicated reasons that authentic performances are compelling.

One idea is that the emotional content in music is sometimes conveyed by subtle changes in a piece’s basic motion and activity, rather than melody or rhythm, the more expected elements one would expect to convey emotion.

An interesting quote comes from a recording engineer for the Beatles: “Often when we were recording some of those Beatles rhythm tracks, there might be an error incorporated, and you would say, ‘That error sounds rather good,’ and we would actually elaborate on that. When everything is perfectly in time, the ear or mind tends to ignore it, much like a clock ticking in your bedroom — after a while you don’t hear it.”

And there are other wonderful comments from such performing luminaries as Paul Simon, Roseanne Cash, and Yo-Yo Ma. I highly recommend reading the whole article!

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Posted April 20, 2011 by Ray Urwin in Uncategorized

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