Ernst Strüngmann Forum


Strüngmann Forum Report: Language, Music, and the Brain
Edited by Michael A. Arbib

Supplemental Material

Chapter 2

A Cross-Cultural Perspective on the Significance of Music and Dance to Culture and Society: Insight from BaYaka Pygmies — Jerome Lewis

Mongemba describes an elephant hunt: this is an example of the story telling style used to recount hunting experiences. It informs and educates in a way that takes full advantage of a range of expressive modes. © Jerome Lewis.

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Sumbu a we (Chimpanzee you will die)

A traditional gano story about chimpanzee demanding to be initiated. Notice the egalitarian style of story telling where different voices come in to narrate the spoken parts of the story, others mimic the chimpanzee’s part, others the people as they sang the initiation songs. The combination is the story. © Roger Short.

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Two young women sing Malobe: this is an example of typical Pygmy polyphony of the style shared by groups living dispersed over huge areas, some of which are thousands of miles apart. It is claimed to be a style dating back as far as 75-100 kya. © Jerome Lewis.

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Woman yodelling a lullaby to her baby

This characteristic yodelling style of African Pygmies is also used to warn off dangerous animals when women walk in the forest. © Roger Short.

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Chapter 16

Computational Modeling of Mind and Music — Paul F. M. J. Verschure and Jônatas Manzolli


The interactive performance Re(per)curso was presented in Barcelona in 2007 at the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona and in 2008 at the Art Futura festival at the Mercat. © SPECS.

Re(per)curso stage

Re(per)curso performance design

The infrastructure and narrative of Re(per)curso. (a) In the design of the mixed reality performance of Re(per)curso, the stage and the virtual world were conceptualized as an integrated system, an inside-out robot. The sensors of the system were a visual tracking system that captured the position and movements of the performers, microphones, and two drum carpets. Sensor states were mapped onto the neuronal simulation environment IQR (Bernardet and Verschure 2010) and used to define the states ofy reproduced. The enabling technology for a mature performance of this kind is an autonomous composition engine. Experiments show that designing for sound, visuals, or dance can be captured in one integrated system based on the DAC architecture, now deployed as a multimodal narrative engine, and that the interaction with the world itself can be the source of creativity and expression. © SPECS.

eXperience Induction Machine

The eXperience Induction Machine: XIM provides immersive interactive collective experiences to groups of up to 10 users using unobtrusive sensing systems. XIM covers an area of 5.5m x 5.5m, and is equipped with: 3 cameras at the top of the rig providing a “bird’s eye view,” 3 microphones placed in the center, 8 steerable theater lights, 4 steerable color cameras, and 16 speakers with the corresponding sound equipment. A total of 8 video projectors display their content on the 4 projection screens (2.25m x 5m) that surround the space. The floor of the space consists of 72 custom built tiles, each of which can measure weight and display a color by means of a built in computer-controlled RGB light source. The marker-less tracking system can reliably perform labeled tracking for up to 8 persons interacting in the space. For a more detailed description see Bernardet & Verschure (2010). © SPECS.

Chapter 18

Communication, Music, and Language in Infancy — Sandra E. Trehub

Example 1 shows typical maternal singing to a 6-month-old infant. © Sandra Trehub.

Example 2 shows an example of a child imitating the pitch/tune of the mother's singing. © Sandra Trehub.

Example 3 shows another example of a child imitating the pitch/tune of the mother's singing. © Sandra Trehub.

Example 4 shows an example of collaborative singing: a toddler is encouraged by his mother to contribute a sound or two at critical junctures of the song. © Sandra Trehub.

Example 5: By two years of age, most infants produce credible, if imperfect, renditions of familiar songs. © Sandra Trehub.

Example 6: By 18 months of age or shortly thereafter, dancing to music is ubiquitous and immensely pleasurable. © Sandra Trehub.

Example 7: An unusual example of didactic speech to a 6-month-old infant. © Sandra Trehub.

Example 8: An example of exuberant maternal speech to a six-month-old infant. © Sandra Trehub.