Extra Credit: Sound and Science Symposium/Jasmine Huynh

I went to Veit Erlmann’s lecture called “Re(a)sonance.” He was from the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas, Austin. He defined Reasonance or “Re(a)sonance” as Reason-ance: the ability of being able to reason and resonate at the same time. The word “resonance” itself is defined as “the electric circuit, the state of a molecule.”

Being part of the School of Music, Erlmann then launched into a very brief, but comprehensive lecture about music. Some highlights of the historical lecture that he went into were that in 1634, individuals had the mindset that the mind and body were two different things. The main defining factor that you could tell that the mind and body were different was theĀ  fact that the mind had the ability to reason. In 1928, there was a movement in the scientific world that was based on the resonance theories of perception. Scientists studied individual patterns of vibration on the brain, and how there were nonresonate wave patterns taking place in the brain. One of the figures that was important at the time was Claude Perrault who wrote an extended essay on sound and hearing. He thought that the body was not a machine, but instead, a self-regulating mechanism. His thinking went against the Cartesian method of biology, so it was hard for Perrault’s ideas to be accept during his time.

Overall, I thought that this lecture was rather hard to understand. The speaker spoke in a very heavy French accent, so I felt that I was spending most of my time trying to understand what he was saying instead of trying to understand the concepts. There was also a good portion of the lecture in which he spoke in French, so at that point, I became very lost. I think, if anything, this lecture relates to our class because it shows how the music, which is a form of art, can be related back to science. By this, I mean that scientists in the past studied how the brain and body perceived music. Also, it demonstrated how some scientific movements were not always accepted by the general public despite their validity. I think that artists in both the past and present have struggled with the same issues.


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