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Minor Update about Musical Memory

One of my favorite bands is Marillion.  They've produced a couple of my most favorite albums ("Daddy, what's an album?"....all right, all right, releases), including Misplaced Childhood and Clutching At Straws from the Fish era (their original vocalist was named 'Fish' which seems really bad until you understand his given name is Derek Dick...not that someone with a last name like 'Nuechterlein' can say much here, but still), and Brave and Marbles from the Hogarth era. 

But, unfortunately, they've also released a bunch of work that, well, kind of sucks.  Not necessarily bad, but definitely boring.  Which is just about as bad as being actually bad.

In my view, their current release, Somewhere Else, is one such effort.  Except for the title track, which is great, the rest of it is pretty boring.  I've listened to the entire release in total, once.

Their guitarist, Mark Rothery, doesn't have an obviously distinctive sound like, say, Edge or Yngwie or Van Halen, where you can identify them almost immediately from their sound.  So, there's no obvious give away.

Keeping this in mind, and keeping in mind I've listened to none of the tracks, except the title track, more than once, the other day, I knew within a second that a song was one of the others and so could skip it.

Similarly, there's a band called Dream Theater that I read about here, in the same way that I discovered Porcupine Tree, another band that's been around for at least 10 years that I had never heard of, and now love.  So, I went to Amazon and got one of their releases that was highly rated.

It wasn't bad, but it just didn't grab me the one time I listened to it.  Having only listened to it once, I can't say if they have a distinctive style or not.  But in shuffle mode, I can tell, as I did the other day, when a song from them starts to play, and know that I want to shuffle past it.

As I start to learn NHibernate HQL and LINQ, I struggle to 'get' the syntax patterns they use, even though they are both related to T-SQL which I generally know quite well.

And I wonder out loud again, what is it about music that allows me to remember particular instances of music that I've only heard once or twice, or whatever 'patterns' they possess, yet not have the same immediate recognition of code syntax patterns.  If anything, code syntax patterns are more rigorous. 

posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007 8:00 PM Print
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