ASSIGNMENT 1, Listening log, Research & Reflection

Steve Reich Drumming – based on psychological illusions?

Strange experience today – had Steve Reich’s long, hypnotising ‘Drumming’ playing in a room that I was dipping in and out of.  While in the room, I could rarely hear the shifting rhythms but every time I came back in after a short absence I heard a different main beat.  Is that just because the music moves slowly, or am I locking into a particular pulse as you do when looking at a view of a Necker cube?  But for other optical illusions the retina at a low level becomes desensitised, ‘tired’ of a particular location or colour which is why you see read afterimages after looking at a green spot.  Can this also happen in acoustics and music, I wonder?


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