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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000141.txt from 1993/12

From: "Dan Leeson: LEESON@-----.EDU>
Subj: Stan Geidel's comments on "dark" and "light" sounds
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 1993 10:08:43 -0500

Stan suggests that color descriptors are useful. I suggest that
that is true only if all agree that the words accurately describe
the thing that they are trying to describe.

An experiment of the type I suggested will demonstrate that any
group of people will not have anything like the same opinion as
to which sound is dark and which one is bright.

I know what I mean by dark sound. You know what you mean by dark
sound. But what each of us thinks is, in my opinion, quite
different; for some, their concept of dark sound would be thought
of by others as bright, and vice versa.

What good is served by the use of a term that is so non-specific
and non-descriptive?

It is not much different than the era when everyone KNEW that electricity was
carried through the air by ether waves. Everyone KNEW it!! So
it became true, because of this universal knowledge. But it was
never true and that bizarre theory of the 18th and 19th century
was ultimately abandoned. That is generally how theories that get
discredited start up: everyone KNOWS it.

Today, everyone KNOWS what a dark sound is. I think that is false.
Each person knows what a dark sound means to him or her. That is
about as far as the usefulness of those terms extends.

Tell me. If what I say is not the case, how is it possible for
the experiment that I described to produce the results it did?
(I am referring to the one where the players were asked to play
with a bright sound while the observers were told that the sound
would be very dark. The results were bizarre.)

Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California

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