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Megan's Musical Examples of Gestalt Laws of Pragnanz

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Megan McConnell

on 11 October 2012

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Transcript of Megan's Musical Examples of Gestalt Laws of Pragnanz

Figure-Ground Relationships Proximity Similarity Closure Common Direction Gestalt Psychology & The Laws of Pragnanz (The whole is greater than the sum of its parts) (Sensory information is organized in the simplest way possible) When perceiving sensory stimuli, some features stand out (e.g., a foreground figure, or a melody) while others recede into the background (e.g., musical accompaniment). Visual Representation: Musical Representation: Which image do you perceive as the figure? As the background? Objects (or notes) near each other tend to be grouped together Visual Representation: Dots are perceived in three different groups of 12 dots each based on their proximity to each other. Musical Representation: Objects that are similar (e.g., timbres, rhythms, melodic themes) are likely to be grouped together Visual Representation: A repeating pattern of similar square and circle columns Musical Representation: Stimuli, or notes, moving in a common direction are perceived as a different group than stimuli moving in another direction. Visual Representation: Swirls of sand are perceived as related units based on the common shape and direction they emanate from Musical Representation: Simplicity We organize our perception of stimuli (e.g., shapes, or music meter beat patterns) into their most simple group units. Visual Representation: Musical Representation: We perceive this ambigous object as being made up of three simpler shapes Good Continuation Stimuli, or notes, that continue in an established direction are more easily perceived as a group than stimuli that do not maintain the same direction. Visual Representation: Musical Representation: We perceive the branches to continue their direction behind the tree We tend to look for a recognizable pattern of stimuli (e.g., connecting incomple visual lines, returning to tonal centers) to complete a series of sensory information. Visual Representation: Do you perceive a jumble of black and white shapes, or do you see a distinct image? Musical Representation: The end of the song has different voices singing in different pitches and volumes, creating an illusion of having a foreground (louder, higher pitches). At the end of the song the harpist taps the soundboard as well as plucks the strings making them similar based on timbres The first and second harp play two different lines of music where one, the melody, moves- up and the other moves down in pitch. This makes the listener hear two groups of notes because of the two directions. The song is split into different parts based on rhythms (cymbals every two beats and drums every beat). the voice is singing in the same group of notes much higher in pitch than the keyboard's chords. At 40- 46 seconds a pattern of both lines moving together toward a D create a pattern that lasts throughout the whole piece of moving toward that note each line. These chords are distinguished because they move together unlike the ones before that maintain the same pitch. Each series of chords (or line) in the piece comes back to the D. Creating a pattern throughout the piece.
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