November 10, 2006
Not so tall, not so tan, but still lovely—it's "The Girl From Ipanema," as processed through a simulated neural map and projected onto an unfolded torus representing the gamut of Western tonal centers. I think. You should proabably ask Petr Janata, whose lab did this research. (Here's a partial explanation.) I know it has to do with trying to localize the sensation of tonal harmony in the prefrontal cortex, but Science will only let me look at the abstract without paying. Nevertheless, Dr. Janata has posted a movie (very big file, but worth it) of the whole song that, well, moves so cool and sways so gently. Perfect for a Friday.
And now that the song is stuck in your head, here's 54 covers of it to tide you over.
The title comes from Mary Rodgers and Stephen Sondheim's lethal parody "The Boy From..." (which has been hilariously translated into American Sign Language—fingerspelling the name of the town every time must bring down the house).
Posted by Matthew at 9:44 AM