What is the Scientific Cause??

shirokuroyume
Posts: 1
Joined: 2007-09-12
User is offlineOffline
What is the Scientific Cause??

Hello there, my name´s Jose, i´m  from Chile, for those who doesnt know this is an almost 100% christian country, but we could say that it´s almost 100 % religiously ignorants, the Catholic Church has great power among the State, anyway, that was just an introduction.

Ok, I have a friend, she´s evengelic. I always try to tell her how wrong her believes are, but there´s one thing I don´t know how to EXPLAIN HER scientifically. She plays the piano in the church, and she says that the "most wonderful thing it is when HER HANDS MOVE ITSELF, and the same happens with the band. She also had something similar when she was on a evagelic trip to Paraguay, where she says she played the piano in a way theat she´d never done before. And as you might know, she told me "IT WAS GOD".... BUt I think, well, I know there´s something else, I mean, the human body provokes some kind of energy, DOESNT IT?...or.. I dont know , I just want to know what is that that makes her do something like that, or think something like that. I would like  scientific answer please. I just want to, tell her to realize how wrong she is for believing in such things like "GOD MADE IT" "GOD PROVOKED IT"...

 

I hope you could help me. Gracias! Thanks!

 

From Chile, Jose! 


Archeopteryx
Superfan
Archeopteryx's picture
Posts: 1037
Joined: 2007-09-09
User is offlineOffline
  I'm afraid that I can't

 

I'm afraid that I can't link you to any scientific sources for this answer, but I can give you an explanation from my own experience with instruments.

It's not anything supernatural that her hands seem to "move on their own". That's a natural thing that happens to all musicians on any instrument. For example, when I first started learning to play guitar, I always had to watch my fingers very closely, and I had to think very hard about where to place my fingers to form each chord.

But it is a psychological fact that the more you repeat something, the more copies you make in your brain. For example, this is why people repeat things to themselves when trying to study or memorize something.

 Every time you say it, you make another copy in your brain.

Every time you say it, you make another copy in your brain.

Every time you say it, you make another copy in your brain.

It works the same way when playing instruments. Chords are patterns that your hand must form to achieve a specific sound from the instrument. The more times you play that chord, the more copies of that pattern you make in your brain. So after playing it many times, it will become easier for your brain to tell your hand to move into that pattern.

Music itself is nothing more than repetitive and patterned sounds. The more times you play a song, the more copies you make in your brain, so each time you play the song, you will be slightly better at it.

 

Experienced musicans come to a point where they no longer have to look at their instruments or watch their hands. They don't even have to think about what their hands are doing. They simply think, "I need to play a G major" and their hands form the Gmaj pattern with hardly any thinking at all. Someone who did not play the instrument, however, would have to put much more thought into it if they wished to do the same.

 

I didn't experience what she experienced, so it's difficult for me to know exactly what she's describing, but it sounds to me like she's trying to attribute basic psychology to God.

 

 

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.


BGH
BGH's picture
Posts: 2772
Joined: 2006-09-28
User is offlineOffline
Please do not cross post

Please do not cross post the same topic in different forums, this is against the rules.

The duplicate thread has been deleted, if you would like this one moved please let a moderator know and they will assist you.

Thanks,

RRS Mod Team 


zarathustra
atheist
zarathustra's picture
Posts: 1249
Joined: 2006-11-16
User is offlineOffline
Provide a keyboard with a

Provide a keyboard with a different tuning (with any decent electric keyboard you can switch to a non-western scale, or even just a different mode), and see how well her "god" moves her hands.

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
π†††


Archeopteryx
Superfan
Archeopteryx's picture
Posts: 1037
Joined: 2007-09-09
User is offlineOffline
zarathustra wrote: Provide

zarathustra wrote:
Provide a keyboard with a different tuning (with any decent electric keyboard you can switch to a non-western scale, or even just a different mode), and see how well her "god" moves her hands.

 

Haha, good suggestion. Or just give her a new instrument she's never played before and tell her to start praising. It doesn't matter if she doesn't know how. God will move her hands. 

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.


MarthaSplatterhead (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Welcome to the forum,

Welcome to the forum, shirokuroyume.


It's called muscle memory.  I have played piano and guitar for many years and I know what she means when she says it feels like her hands move on their own.  Here is the scientific explanation:  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscle_memory

Ask her to try to play a piece that she has never played before.  Her hands won't "move on their own" then. 

I wonder how she would explain an atheist with musical capabilities.  Esp. since I have blasphemed the holy spirit, I don't think god would do me any favors. 

 


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Quote: She plays the piano

Quote:
She plays the piano in the church, and she says that the "most wonderful thing it is when HER HANDS MOVE ITSELF, and the same happens with the band.

Well, the best suggestion has already been made. Ask her to play a completely unfamiliar instrument and see if god moves her hands.

Put very simply, it's a combination of two things: Muscle memory and pattern recognition.

(Oh, and I have a graduate degree in piano performance. I know of what I speak.)

The muscle memory is simply the practice. Repetition creates a physiological change in the way we move, and also the way we think. When you read this text, you are not reading individual letters. You are reading whole words. In some cases, you are reading groups of words, especially when they are words that you see grouped together frequently. (Such as "when they are." It's very likely that you saw that group of words and read them as a single entity!)  It's the same with music.  Musicians learn to recognize patterns easily.)

Music, despite all the spiritual language, is a very simple system. There are twelve possible notes that we can play, and we organize them into 24 base chords. Each of these chords serves one of only three functions, major, minor, and dominant. Classical theory provides a lot more variations on this, but the simplest form of music theory involves only three kinds of chord functions. (If you want to get into more advanced jazz theory, the reality is that major and minor are structurally the same, so there are really only two places you can be!)

In most any song, there is a progression, either A-B-A, or A-B. If you believe Shoenkerian analysis, every piece ever written is actually only two chords, but that's getting a bit out there. Anyway, western music moves in very particular ways, so for any piece, we don't actually have all 24 chords to choose from. In major keys, we generally have 7 to choose from, and one of those is simply a restatement of another, so there are only 6 in reality. Out of those six, one is dominant, three are major and three are minor. (The overage is because one of the majors becomes the dominant, so it adds one chord. Don't worry about it too much. It's very simple for musicians to understand.)

If we're on the dominant, there are only two or three ways that it can go (resolve). Typically, it's extremely easy to guess which way it's going to go because of the way the notes line up.

If we're on any of the others, we're either moving towards or away from the dominant. Again, it's often very easy to guess.

Now, add to this a very important factor: Music is repetitive!

That's right. Any song, whether it sounds that way to you or not, is repeating itself in regular patterns. Good musicians can recognize that there are patterns within patterns within patterns. Entire songs can be represented with very simple diagrams when we start reducing the number of notes and grouping them into patterns.

Ok, you probably see where I'm going, right? When we have played enough pieces, our brains can shut off consciously, and our subconscious is so well trained that it can do the work for us. It's actually pretty easy.

Some people do this easily. It's always been easy for me to follow the patterns in music, AND I have 25 years of training, so I dare say I'm pretty good at it. Most church musicians are also very good at it. They play three, four, or five times a week for years!

Anyway, I know exactly what your friend is talking about. I do it all the time... playing jazz... and I'm an atheist.

It's not god. It's her subconscious.

(Oh, and here's the kicker... she might tell you that she can do it with songs she doesn't know. That's fine. She's recognizing familiar patterns. That's what we teach in jazz theory. You can teach people to do it. It's not god.)

 If she balks at the idea of her being able to guess at songs she doesn't know, suggest that you will put a copy of one of Liszt's Transcendental Etudes in front of her, and see if god helps her sight read it note for note.  I'll take 5000 to 1 odds, assuming she's never played the piece.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism