Is it a chemical that is produced, like the gas or liquid, in our body or does it move as it is brought to the surface by a natural process? These are really important questions for me. What is the nature of the process of pitch making? Is it a chemical synthesis of some kind? Is it something natural? Or is it something that can be produced only by a natural process?”
He then turns to the question of why it is important to understand the role of the human body in music. It has been suggested in some previous posts that the human body is a very well-adapted organ for producing sound. The physical and emotional connections between body and ear can be deeply woven into our very humanity. This is particularly true in the case of the violinist, for whom ear is as familiar to him or her as tooth or nail.
“This idea that these sorts of sensory circuits and connections that you see in your brain are more important than the physicality of your human face or body seems to be pretty controversial, but I do agree with it. And it is in this context that we should look at the role of the body in composition – how it is used in relation to other physical systems.”
What about the question of the relationship between an organ and its body, such as the violinist’s head or throat? A simple and intuitive answer would be to equate these organs with a single entity, to say that any connection between the two is a matter of one body. That would be like saying that the violinist’s mouth is an organ, and that it receives information from the brain via the spinal cord, and so on. A more complex picture is that the musical instrument produces a particular vibration, and the body is part of this system. But it is important to be aware of the differences between this understanding of the connection between the physical body and the musical instrument.
I then move next to his treatment of the organ of the vocal tract; is this really a system that is only capable of producing sounds produced by the human vocal tract?
“I think it is possible that some of these ideas are correct, and others not. This is something we need to do a lot more research on – what are the actual physical properties of this organ?”
He then goes on to talk about the anatomy of the vocal tract, explaining the details. “How does it work? When it works it is very, very different from how a single organ operates, say the mouth, for example
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