If you cannot show it, is it real?

“Show” is not the best word. Thinking about African Diasporic music and the issue of the pulse, I was reminded of the issue of acquisition vs learning. Critics of Krashen rightly say that there is no empirical way to demonstrate acquisition as opposed to learning while those of us who recognized the “feeling” of acquisition understand perfectly what Krashen is talking about. But how do you show it?
The pulse in Diasporic music is clearly there and can be easily demonstrated but not in a scientific manner. Two procedures: put on music with the pulse (TBD by who?) and ask a Diasporic person to dance to it and then put on a similar piece without the pulse and ask them to dance to it. Usually, within a few bars or moments they will sit down, finding the music undanceable.
The second way is to take the hand of a person who does not recognize the pulse or “the beat” as many call it incorrectly and pat out the pulse with their hand (if they will let you; some people are extremely resistant to this for some reason).

2 Comments

  1. 伟思礼 says:

    If you can provide the URI of an online audio or video file containing such music, I suspect I can see the “pulse” in the waveforms using an audio editor on the computer.

  2. Pat Barrett says:

    Any luck with those sites I sent you?
    Pat Barrett

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