Understanding Music

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#1 17 April, 2012 - 14:04
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Understanding Music


Hi everyone, this isn't exactly about memory but who better to ask than people with interests concerning the brain.
I will be listening to songs for the first time and have extreme difficulty in understanding many of the lyrics, sometimes I can only put my finger on a word or two throughout a whole song.
I was wondering if anyone would be able to offer some advice on how to improve this with their own experience or even just some outside the box thinking.

Thanks a bunch

17 April, 2012 - 22:19
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Are the songs in your mother tongue?
Are you familiar with the accent of the singers?
Do the songs have a particular style?
Can you just find the lyrics somewhere?

17 April, 2012 - 23:14
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Could you post the name of an example song or two?

21 April, 2012 - 10:29
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A shame to say but English is my native tongue. Not really familiar with the singers or accent but would be fantastic just to listen to a random song and understand 90% of the words without reading the lyrics.
2 songs which I understand some words but not many are as follows :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGbrFmPBV0Y

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlUKcNNmywk

21 April, 2012 - 11:37
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Hmm ok, I wouldn't worry about it...
Neither of these acts are known for their clear diction.

Forget 90% I'd consider it a win if I could understand 10% of either of these.

I think what you want to do is almost impossible, and would require you to study a LOT of music, from a lot of different genres and hang around with a lot of different demographics to learn the words/phrases they use.

How do you get on with: http://youtu.be/NLRutnikSBg ?

21 April, 2012 - 11:46
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Thanks for the response. I hope it doesn't require a lot of study in the music field but I have started to broaden my range of listening material as in a hope to acquire a different listening comprehension. I can understand quite a few words in that song but mainly because it is a classic and I fancy the music.

Still sometimes but a few years ago every second word from my mouth was "what" due to not being able understand simple conversations with friends. It has changed dramatically since then but still a few "whats" here and there. I know it isn't my hearing as it is spectacular. Maybe I will just keep at it and hopefully stumble onto some technique which is very effective.

Any ideas, advice or just outside the box thinking is very welcome.

Thanks

22 April, 2012 - 06:14
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otengam wrote:

A shame to say but English is my native tongue.

I wouldn't worry about those two videos. English is my native language, and I'm a musician, but I can't understand many of the words either. :)

26 April, 2012 - 12:27
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I have what may be a funny question here. Do you have much experience playing music? I mean, like playing piano or anything like that? On a related note, do you listen to a lot of music in general, and if so, what kind(s)?

While I wait for a reply, let me point something out: neurologically speaking, processing music and processing language are not especially strongly related processes. Since you have great hearing, I suspect there is something quite different going on here than you might guess.

26 April, 2012 - 17:26
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That gives me hope a musician has trouble with those songs.

Not very much experience at all playing music, would love to learn the Piano but always strapped for cash these days. No I don't really listen to a lot of music, and when I do it's more of the same 50 songs I like. I'm guessing if I expand my range this would help, although atm I have started to listen to more music and different music.

Yeah you do bring up a good point about the neurological part, as speech comprehension is more associated with wernicke's area and hearing would be focused with the primary audio cortex amoung other things. Maybe looking up some techniques to increase the neuron pathways in specific areas as wernicke's area might be should be some assistance or maybe even some in the parietal lobe where I believe tempo is associated with.

Good thinking, definitely has given an interesting perspective.

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