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seen Mar 24 at 16:55

I'm a programmer living in Israel.


Mar
24
comment Can native Chinese speakers distinguish tones in songs?
I call troll. Troll!
Mar
23
awarded  Commentator
Mar
23
comment Can native Chinese speakers distinguish tones in songs?
My answer was yes, and I gave a lot of examples in Western music where the musicians are playing around in more than one 'stencil'/framework at once; the point being that yes, it is musically possible to express Putonghua tones (yes this involves pitch modulation) simultaneous with some kind of melodic traversal of a diatonic scale or whatever--which also involves pitch modulation; as all non-monotonous music involves pitch modulation. Typically this modulation is discrete and scaled by standard intervals but sometimes (in grace notes, chromaticism) it can be subtle and continuous.
Mar
23
comment Can native Chinese speakers distinguish tones in songs?
Again, you are being silly. Look at your statement--it's a grammatical tautology. Even in spoken Chinese, there is no way to express tones except by pitch modulation. Expressing tones is a case of pitch modulation. The question really is whether or not one can 'play' in the Putonghua tonal system whilst simultaneously 'playing' in say a diatonic scale.
Mar
23
comment Can native Chinese speakers distinguish tones in songs?
The comment about the Beethoven themes being repeated in arbitrary keys across arbitrary intervals a complicated variation on that. Also grace notes: in pop or other music: in some coarse or gross sense the song may call for an Aflat or whatever, but the really great singer may as you say do something peculiar 'bending' the note in some way or another, which technically means it's a deviation from the true Aflat or whatever. A Putonghua 2nd rising tone can be effected easily in this way, also the 4th dropping tone. All of them really, can be effected as grace notes, with varying deviation.
Mar
23
comment Can native Chinese speakers distinguish tones in songs?
The major scale itself (in our system) is another stencil, so in our paper and stencils metaphor you might be doing this: 1. put your Putonghua stencil down at a reference point, mark the reference point and then make some marks through the stencil, then 2. pick up the Putonghua stencil and lay the major scale stencil over it, lining up the reference points (you would have a choice). With the major scale stencil in place you could mark a new central reference point where you want to put your Putonghua tonal system stencil down, and then you do just that, and so on.. and so forth.
Mar
23
comment Can native Chinese speakers distinguish tones in songs?
So let's say we have a stencil which represents the possibilities with the Putonghua tonal system. You can move it left or right on the paper (up and down in frequency) but once you've chosen your spot, everything you do there is with respect to that reference point. So you can say one whole sentence with your stencil centred at 440hz, and then move it to 220hz. Same tonal system but centred around different basis notes/tones. In the same way you could these stencil reference points based around the major scale. So, you could say one sentence based around C, another around A, and so on.
Mar
23
comment Can native Chinese speakers distinguish tones in songs?
You know those little plastic stencils that allow you to draw some kind of design on a piece of paper ? That's kind of like a key. Different keys => different patterns, different stencils. But I can move the stencil to any arbitrary position on the paper without changing the pattern. Let's say that moving it to the left or right on the paper is like going up or down in frequency. And moving it up or down on the paper would be kind of like going forward or backwards in the time frame. This is imperfect analogy, but it might be helpful. Cont->
Mar
23
awarded  Supporter
Mar
23
comment Can native Chinese speakers distinguish tones in songs?
"a skilled singer can bend the pitch of the note to express the tone" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tautology_(grammar) That barely makes any sense at all. Yes, a singer can modulate pitch. Yes, pitch modulation expresses something..., to say that it expresses 'the tone(s)' is redundant. This scarcely scratches the surface of what I was getting at.
Mar
22
comment Can native Chinese speakers distinguish tones in songs?
Most musicians aren't total geniuses though, so sure, definitely there will be lots of cases (eg in cheap pop) where everything is obliterated but the mickey mouse electronically altered synth melody. Another example occured to me: in English pop music -- of course English is tonal also-- if the lyric expresses a question then the tone may have a sliding rise at the end of the question to express the interogative. This wouldn't invalidate them also continuing to adhere more or less to whatever scale they were playing with. Most 'high quality' pop (eg Beatles) has lots cont modulated notes.
Mar
22
comment Can native Chinese speakers distinguish tones in songs?
Western music is like this already if you look at it deeply enough. So many examples of chromaticism play, the phenomenon of 'grace notes', continuous modulations of frequency along a variety of curves... in Jazz, in Appalachian music as well as many other folk traditions it's hardly ever so simplistically adherent to the scales, which are just useful simplifications-- in Beethoven string quartets, there are so many cases where a theme (a kind of fixed pattern) repeated across arbitrary keys/etc. A scale is just a pattern, as is a theme, or a 'tonal system'. Simultaneous play mark the master
Mar
22
comment Can native Chinese speakers distinguish tones in songs?
As they progress through their melody along the diatonic, their root frame of reference for the play within the Putonghua tonal scale moves. And not necessarily in a simplistic way.
Mar
22
comment Can native Chinese speakers distinguish tones in songs?
wow it's been awhile since I saw this... Kind of like a musical scale, say a major diatonic, we could start the scale on any arbitrary frequency/note we wanted, and the scale would be organised around, in any of a variety of ways -- that note could be the root or it could be some other note in the scale. In the same way, the Putonghua tonal framework is a kind of scale, with all kinds of regional and individual variations/flavours. So, a singer might be playing around in a diatonic, and simultaneously within a given time window be playing around with the Putonghua tonal system.
Jul
15
awarded  Teacher
Jul
14
answered Can native Chinese speakers distinguish tones in songs?
Jan
2
awarded  Autobiographer