Aha Moment: From Proto-Punk to Perception
Friday, November 18, 2011
Larry Rosenblum is a professor of psychology with a focus on perception — he’s written a book about the senses called See What I’m Saying. Rosenblum credits a musical revelation with leading him down that path.
Growing up with 1970s prog-rock, he thought that virtuosity and spectacular showmanship were the hallmarks of great music — cascades of notes, impossible time signatures. Visiting a cool older friend, Rosenblum had his perceptions forever altered by four notes from the band Television: the opening chords to their garage epic “Marquee Moon.” “I knew that I was going to listen to everything differently,” he remembers. “By playing something very simple, but very well-coordinated with the other musicians, something powerful and passionate can come out of it.”
Rosenblum explains how the way instrumental lines interact to create complexity is analogous to how the brain understands and interprets the environment around it.
Has a song, book, or other work of art changed your life?
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Video: Television, "Marquee Moon"