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CLASSICAL  March 2000

CLASSICAL March 2000

Subject:

Re: Repeats

From:

Ian Crisp <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 7 Mar 2000 23:09:33 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (45 lines)

Don Satz:

>I wish my good friend Ian had not made the above comments, particularly
>that last sentence.  The comments sound very similar to those made by
>Don Vroon in ARG; Vroon believes that the HIP movement is a fad which
>will go away.  But there might be a ray of hope here.  Vroon welcomes the
>extinction of HIP peformances.  Please, Ian, tell us that you would feel
>at least a twinge of regret at its departure.

Don, don't panic.  My tongue was slightly in my cheek, as I'm
inclined to think that this whole thread might benefit from a touch of
mischievousness.  I just wanted to have a bit of fun by suggesting a reason
for the popularity of HIP that had nothing to do with rights and wrongs
of decisions about how to perform this or that detail of a score.  I'm
far from being an all-out 100% HIP fanatic but I greatly value what the
movement has taught us, and as I wrote recently, my bank manager will
doubtless be pleased to confirm that I support live HIP concerts with
rather more of my cash than I can afford.  Same goes for the other kind
as well, of course.

I don't see HIP as merely a fad, although as there are cycles in all
things I fully expect that its influence will eventually wane (and, some
time after that, it will start to come round again . . .) Nevertheless,
there is a germ of a serious idea behind the suggestion.  At the level of
individual cells and small groups of them, our nervous systems consistently
demonstrate the property of getting bored by unchanging stimuli, and giving
up responding to them.  It's called accommodation.  But they will be "woken
up" by a change in the pattern of incoming information.  Speaking loosely:
they seek out novelty and change, and ignore the familiar.  We don't
understand very much about the layers of information-processing that come
between the low level of individual cell responses to e.g.  sound and the
high-level perception and appreciation of music, but it is more than likely
that the same kind of accomodation process is deeply embedded into all
levels of all kinds of perception.

>Also, I can't agree fully with the premise that people are drawn to the
>"new".  Humans also like routines and what's familiar to them.  Then again,
>all the cheating that married couples engage in does tend to support the
>"new" premise.

Of course you can't apply these neurophysiological ideas directly to
high-level behaviour.  But there may be parallels and useful analogies.

Ian Crisp
[log in to unmask]

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