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RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019   You are logged in as Guest
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Ricardo

Posts: 13290
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to tf10music

I’m gonna write a book called quantum chromatic dynamic flamenco. In it I will address the entangled superposition of aficionados that like both cante and guitar.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 20 2021 17:58:13
 
Piwin

Posts: 3376
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to Beni2

quote:

A point I make in my dissertation is that ethnicity/race, lingusitic group, or nationality are something one is born to. Culture is something one learns and embodies (or not).


I only briefly scanned this thread, so this might be besides the point, but I'd just say that discussions on those issues would benefit greatly from focusing not just on adults that move into another community, but also on children who grew up as part of multiple communities, as the product of immigration, cross-community marriages, etc. Knowledgeable discourse on that is sorely lacking IMO, and still includes such non-sensical concepts as "second-generation immigrant" (which would only ever make sense if we were talking about someone who is the child of immigrants and then decided to emigrate elsewhere himself. That is the only thing that could reasonably be called a "second-generation immigrant"). And to an extent I think it would help reframe these broader discussions, or at least to smoothen the edges of some of the more monolithic and unforgiving positions out there.

In SLA research, there has been a proliferation of papers on the role of identity in language acquisition. I guess it started with that little spat between Firth/Wagner and Gass in the late 90s, but I'm not sure. It's really not my wheelhouse. In any event, attempts have been made to link identity to linguistic fossilization, with the general idea being that if you want to speak a language "perfectly", you have to identify with the community of native speakers. That is then used by some, IMO far too liberally, to explain why some people just can't shake their foreign accent despite being otherwise perfectly proficient in the language, etc.

Parallel to that, in the applied SLA side of things (focused mainly on education), the push seems to be towards dropping nativeness as the gold standard to be reached. Essentially they're saying: as long as it doesn't impede comprehension, things like a foreign accent should be celebrated as a reflection of your own personal identity and trajectory.

Circling back to what I was saying about children who grow up as part of multiple communities, what you can't do as an adult second language learner is aim to become a monolingual native speaker (it's a logical impossibility since 1. a bilingual speaker is not "two monolinguals in one", and 2. you cannot rid yourself of the language you already acquired growing up). What you can do is aim to become like an early "balanced" bilingual, trilingual, etc., namely someone who grew up with those multiple languages and is equally proficient in all of them.

My own, entirely unscientific, take: I think if you dig your heels in too much in whatever identity you were born into, then that may very well become a self-imposed hurdle to SLA and might lead to worse outcomes. I don't know that you have to fully identify with the community of native speakers, but at least some degree of "fluidity" and "openness" in your sense of identity would probably help quite a bit. Maybe your place in that community will always be unique, but I think Morante's "I am just one of them" is a better way to go than "I will only ever be an Irishman that happens to live among Spanish Gitanos".

Whether that kind of reasoning can also be applied to something like learning flamenco, I don't know. But I think drawing that connection between the adult who moves into a community and the child born into multiple communities (and considering the challenges that they face) should at least help smoothen things a bit and not be so categorical in how we relate to some of these boxes we're born into.

I get that it's different because it doesn't involve asymmetry, power relations, etc., but for the most part I'd imagine most French natives are quite happy that Samuel Beckett or Milan Kundera contributed to the culture in the way they did; just as I'd imagine for the most part British natives are quite happy that Joseph Conrad contributed to the culture in the way he did (even Bertrand Russell's girlfriend, who said such nasty things about his wife, had nothing bad to say about his prose ^^). It would've been a shame if too monolithic a view of identity had gotten in the way of that.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 20 2021 17:59:05
 
Brendan

Posts: 261
Joined: Oct. 30 2010
 

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to Ricardo

It’s taken me a little while to get round to reading Whitney, what with work and all. Some thoughts:

1) ‘Find’ is generous—I just put in an inter-library loan request. Still, I’m pleased that it turned out to be such an interesting document.

2) I keep wondering what Brook Zern (1941-2019) would have made of this thread. I’d like to think he’d be amused.

3) Whitney’s thesis is uncommonly readable for a PhD. She had a flair for vivid metaphors, including the talk of ‘parasites’, ‘invaders’ and so on. But also the shower-singing stuff, which I would have liked her to return to in the later chapters. She was bothered about assimilation and what we would now call cultural appropriation rather than just observer effects, and she has some interesting but undeveloped thoughts about what it is and why it’s bad. Something about a product-process distinction and performance art as a ‘weapon’ for ‘survival’. The foreigner who barges in to flamenco’s private places, parasitically sucks the life out and then misrepresents it to the wider world somehow deprives the flamencos of their survival weapon. This isn’t just about taking paid work away from ‘real’ flamencos, she thought there was something deeper going on. I think I can see what she was getting at, but it’s frustrating that her supervisor, if she had one, didn’t make her slow down and articulate this bit more carefully. You can see her trying to figure out how it can be ok for her and Pohren to do what they did. As Richard said, the moment where we learn that a) Diego del Gastor could read music (so much for the native ingenue) and b) he was happy for her to do her analyses because he knew and trusted her, is pivotal.

4) It’s the product of a brief period towards the end of the Franco times when Spain was open enough for study visits but still very foreign. It’s also the product of a special moment in western academia, as shown by the story of the failed music department revolution. She recognises that she is a typical American malcontent, looking for a remedy or at least respite from the ills of her own society as she saw them—busyness, shallowness, consumption, domination by corporate interests and so on. At the time of writing, she could hope to find something different in the flamenco community at Morón. But if that’s what you go there for, you are inevitably looking at the natives in the same way that Laurens van der Post looked at the Bushmen of the Kalahari. You need them to remain primitive, monoglot, not in any way cosmopolitan, otherwise they can’t provide you with your desired alternative way of living. But they’re not obliged to do anything of the sort.

5) she complains at some length about the evil effects of academic standards on art and music study. Having examined a few PhDs, I can say that she was quite successful in breaking out of the usual standards of rigour required of doctoral theses. Since we’ve already had a little joke about Fermat, permit me to repeat the legend of the examiners’ report on Wittgenstein’s PhD: “This is a work of genius. Nevertheless, it satisfies the requirement for the degree of doctor of philosophy.”

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 20 2021 18:11:27
 
Beni2

 

Posts: 134
Joined: Apr. 23 2018
 

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to Brendan

quote:

5) she complains at some length about the evil effects of academic standards on art and music study. Having examined a few PhDs, I can say that she was quite successful in breaking out of the usual standards of rigour required of doctoral theses. Since we’ve already had a little joke about Fermat, permit me to repeat the legend of the examiners’ report on Wittgenstein’s PhD: “This is a work of genius. Nevertheless, it satisfies the requirement for the degree of doctor of philosophy.”

Still reading but this is what I found most useful and relatable. McLean is an ethnomusicologist who argues for mor social and cultural description and less theorizing of sociocultural life. I agree with him, but the field does require, as all fields do, some theoretical foundation, however broad, to scaffold its knowledge production. Whitney's use of metaphor, as you describe, fits that criteria, although I don't believe she develops them into full blown theories of culture or cross-cultural life.

@Piwin:
quote:

I only briefly scanned this thread, so this might be besides the point, but I'd just say that discussions on those issues would benefit greatly from focusing not just on adults that move into another community, but also on children who grew up as part of multiple communities, as the product of immigration, cross-community marriages, etc.
I agree. That is one of the areas, in general, that has been ignored across the social sciences. Culture has been treated in the past as a final product that one somehow achieves as an adult. Studying children in long term studies would, I believe, help to refine the culture concept and our understanding of multiple identities in different social contexts.




One thing that has interested me is how different psychological phenomena affect our understandings or knowledge in some domain. The sonority represented by the frequencies on the right do not have a name in some musical cultures, either individually or collectively. In Western music theory, skippin the middle left note, their labels are F, C, A, C, F. That middle frequency will be labeled either D# or Eb depending on the context. There is no objective label. The sonority exists aside from any label that might be given to it. Once you "open the box," it is either "alive or dead," hence the analogy with quantum physics.
That is fact; you can argue that it spells a "dominant" in any context, after all, a dominant can go to another dominant, and voila...the observer effect. You don't change the frequencies so the analogy is not perfect, anaologies never are. But you are changing the interpretation. The points are that 1) social phenomena can often be as weird as quantum phenomena, and 2) we often have blind spots in our knowledge.

And, on those notes, I will refrain on posting anymore offtopi stuff on this thread. I appreciate Brook Zern's work, especially his involvement with the Rito series.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 20 2021 19:01:59
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13290
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to Beni2

quote:

labels are F, C, A, C, F. That middle frequency will be labeled either D# or Eb depending on the context. There is no objective label. The sonority exists aside from any label that might be given to it. Once you "open the box," it is either "alive or dead," hence the analogy with quantum physics.


I didn’t check for sure but I guess those are equal tempered intervals (based on the 440). I agree contextual labels clarify function (V7 vs German 6, vs VII7 or even III7 if we admit D phrygian is a key). However, if you remove the equal tempered component, there can be an argument that above the fundamental “F”, the closer frequencies in the overtone harmonic series to equal temp equivalent note names, do spell out those other notes and are therefore “objectively” realized. In fact something closer to a B natural than a Bb manifests as the 11th partial above the fundamental, so we have the so called “Overtone scale”, also called Lydian dominant. So as an approximation, nature herself gives rise to a situation where, if you were going to cut off a “scale construction” by naming only 7 notes (rather than counting to infinity, all the pitches of the overtone series), as 1234567….then in this case, it could in theory be argued that there is only ever room for the “Eb” description, and the “D#”, even in special contexts where logic dictates the preference, is a misspelling, however deliberate. In other words, nature herself says it is probably Eb and D# is “theoretical” or abstract.

(Sorry I don’t have exact frequencies for the overtone series relative to F, but the eq temp equivalent notes to the first 16 partials are F-F-C-F-A-C-Eb-F-G-A-B-C-D-Eb-E nat-F, etc such that partials 8-14 spell the lydian dominant scale).

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 20 2021 21:16:59
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 1136
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to Ricardo

I just stopped reading all the posts. Too much theory going on there. Make it simple guys. Andalusian cadence to me is just a harmonised simple melodic line in oriental music. This is what it is. Western music theory and quantum physics can't explain it.

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Say No to Fuera de Compás!!!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 21 2021 15:34:28
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13290
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: RIP Brook Zern 1941-2019 (in reply to devilhand

quote:

I just stopped reading all the posts.


Thank god. You had me worried for a second.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 22 2021 3:45:05
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