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TorgoX (1933)


"Il est beau comme la retractilité des serres des oiseaux rapaces [...] et surtout, comme la rencontre fortuite sur une table de dissection d'une machine à coudre et d'un parapluie !" -- Lautréamont

Journal of TorgoX (1933)

Monday May 12, 2003
07:01 PM

Dit ddha drtddhiddhi dda

[ #12145 ]
Dear Log,

Date: Fri, 09 May 2003 18:42:48 +0000
From: Aniruddh Patel <>
Subject: drum vocable experiment

Dear Linguist List,

We are doing research on the acoustic and perceptual relationship of speech sounds and drum sounds in North Indian tabla music. In this tradition, spoken nonsense syllables are used to label drum sounds. This way, players can communicate drum sequences either by playing them or by speaking the associated syllables. We want to know if it's possible for people who don't know Indian music to guess which syllable goes with which drum sound.

We would like to invite anyone who is interested to try a web experiment in which you match spoken syllables to drum sounds. This web experiment is not being used to collect data for publication (we are doing a lab study for that purpose). Rather, we are interested in the acoustic and perceptual cues people use to make their decisions, and invite your feedback on this issue (via a questionnaire at the end of the experiment).

Here is a link to the experiment:

Please feel free to pass on this invitation to anyone who might be interested.

Thank you,

Ani Patel, John Iversen, & Phil Mercurio
The Neurosciences Institute, San Diego, CA, USA

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  • If I remember correctly, John Coltrane (and his last drummer, Rashied Ali) were interested in this drum notation.

    Reminds me also the arbitrary syllables that are used to signify the notes of the major scale in latin countries.

    Reminds me, as well, Steve Coleman's recording The Tao of Mad Phat [], where, on the tune Laid Back Schematics (an instantaneous compostion), Coleman sings to his drummer the drum line he wants him to play (after having similarly dictated to the guitarist, pianist and bassist their own lines.)