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The music that is better than itself

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posted on Mar, 4 2016 @ 11:55 PM
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In 1930s researches from Harvard University conducted the most interesting experiment . They told the participants that they are going to play two variations of the same theme by two prominent composers. They declared that musical critics say that the first variation is a masterpiece, while the second is its exaggerated imitation totally deficient in self-subsistence and beauty. They said that that the aim of the experiment is to see whether laymen agree with the experts. Afterward experimenters played the same record twice.

The participants completed a questionnaire which had three possible answers: prefer first record, prefer second record, and no preference. There was also a “why” field where people could explain their choice.

58.1% of the subjects agreed with the opinion of the experts and 7.6% disagreed. 34.3%, answered that they do not prefer any of the records, and 9.3% wrote in the “why” field that the two records were identical. The people who preferred the record to itself also made comments in the “why” field. For example, one of them wrote that the first record meant “philosophical contemplation of life” and the second record was a “jerky composition that spoils mood.”

Interestingly, Harvard students under performed the crowd with regard to recognition that the two records were identical. However a lot more of them disagreed with the critics.

The music that is better than itself




posted on Mar, 5 2016 @ 12:20 AM
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a reply to: vernichter

A variation is to advertise a lecture with a suitably academic sounding description.

The entire lecture is a random jumble of academic sounding sentences and phrases.

Afterwards those attending are asked to write down their understanding of the lecture.

Only a small minority say it meant nothing. The more 'educated' the attendee is, the more likely they are to suffer from Emperor's Clothes Syndrome.

This tells us an awful lot about the educated world. The blind leading the blind.



posted on Mar, 5 2016 @ 12:29 AM
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a reply to: vernichter

That's interesting and why do you think so?



posted on Mar, 5 2016 @ 12:33 AM
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a reply to: Kester

the more likely they are to suffer from Emperor's Clothes Syndrome.
I would think this is more true of all of us, not just the chronically literate.



posted on Mar, 5 2016 @ 12:14 PM
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a reply to: Kester

Here is one such experiment: Doctor Fox Lecture

Do you know of any other?



posted on Mar, 5 2016 @ 02:05 PM
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a reply to: vernichter

That sounds like the original. The way it was related to me suggested others had tried their own version.



posted on Mar, 6 2016 @ 02:33 PM
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originally posted by: TerryMcGuire
a reply to: vernichter
That's interesting and why do you think so?

I merely stated the facts.



posted on Mar, 6 2016 @ 05:31 PM
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a reply to: vernichter
Well then, as you have nothing to add I guess this conversation is over.



posted on Mar, 7 2016 @ 05:17 PM
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originally posted by: Kester
a reply to: vernichter

That sounds like the original. The way it was related to me suggested others had tried their own version.

Who did relate it to you and were?



posted on Apr, 7 2016 @ 04:59 PM
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a reply to: Kester

Another similar story: Bourbaki’s theorem: a hoax math lecture



posted on Apr, 9 2016 @ 05:14 AM
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a reply to: vernichter
I was just curious, what was the piece of music played twice in the experiment or the music that is better than itself? I can't seem to find it on the link you provided... or am I already drunk?

Cheers!



posted on Apr, 9 2016 @ 06:03 PM
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originally posted by: MaxTamesSiva
a reply to: vernichter
I was just curious, what was the piece of music played twice in the experiment or the music that is better than itself? I can't seem to find it on the link you provided... or am I already drunk?

See Ref. 2


It was an excerpt from Brahms, Op. 68, Symphony No. 1 in C minor performed by Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski.



posted on Apr, 9 2016 @ 09:20 PM
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a reply to: vernichter
Thank you, didn't saw that. Could it be the 4th Movement?

Can't find Stokowski but I heard he was also very good... excuse the pun.

Cheers!



posted on Apr, 11 2016 @ 02:44 PM
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a reply to: MaxTamesSiva
The original research article by Sorokin and Boldyrev may have more details.

In a similar incident music critics trashed and praised the same record released under different performer names: www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on May, 10 2016 @ 10:27 AM
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a reply to: vernichter

Similar experiments have shown that most people confabulate differences and critical comparisons between identical colas and blended Scotch whiskies in blind taste tests. Everybody's a critic.

Great violinists have insisted on the superior sound of what they thought was a Stradivarius.

The reach of human vanity is infinite. Anyone who thinks himself immune from such frailties knows little of humanity, and of himself least of all.



posted on May, 10 2016 @ 07:30 PM
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a reply to: vernichter

So, this basically says is that, insofar as "classical" type music is concerned, the general public is conditioned to believe that there are certain masterpieces only because there is an academic consensus that those works deserve elevated recognition.



posted on May, 10 2016 @ 07:34 PM
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Was there not something similar in the news about poetry or writing? The participants were told one was by a well respected author and the other was an unknown.



posted on May, 10 2016 @ 08:31 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus

Was there not something similar in the news about poetry or writing? The participants were told one was by a well respected author and the other was an unknown.


I think you're thinking about the thread on ATS about people deciding between Charles Dickens vs. some dude.
edit on 10-5-2016 by Liquesence because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 10 2016 @ 08:44 PM
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a reply to: Liquesence

That was it.



posted on May, 10 2016 @ 11:06 PM
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a reply to: Liquesence


So, this basically says is that, insofar as "classical" type music is concerned, the general public is conditioned to believe that there are certain masterpieces only because there is an academic consensus that those works deserve elevated recognition.

That's the paranoid interpretation.

The student of human nature merely recalls that most people are poorly educated and lack taste, and will do their best to cover up these inadequacies in the presence of those they believe to be better supplied with them.

No further explanation is called for.




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