Singing to myself

From: Reed Konsler (
Date: Thu 15 May 2003 - 20:36:51 GMT

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    Here is a question.

    There is a piece of music that I play on the piano. I perform it many times sequentially. I teach it to many people who also perform it sequentially. When I teach it to one particular person, Double A, I make a mistake and add an extra note. Double A performs that mutated piece of music.


    1) Where is the meme between the time I make one performance and the next?

    2) Can I predict with any confidence ahead of time that a future performance will be identical to a past performance? If so, on what basis do I make that claim? For instance, if I say "I've played this same song a million times before" does that make any difference?

    3) Can I predict with any confidence that Double A will play the same piece I do BEFORE I hear his performance for the first time? Should I expect that when I ask him to play the piece on the piano that he will even use the keys to make sound? If so, on what basis do I make that claim?

    4) For me to mimic you, do I need to have a model in my head of your performance? How does your performance lead to my performance? What is the mechanism?

    5) Is it possible to perform a piece inside your own head, to yourself? For instance, can you compose or review music or writing without making a sound or motion?

    6) What percentage of performances do you think are external as opposed to internal (within your own mind)? Is that an invalid question?

    7) If I get into a car accident and part of my brain is damaged such that I can still play the piano, but I can no longer "remember" (for want of a better word) the particular piece...what happened? Why would damage to my brain break the string of sequential performances?



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