This Post Is About Prosody (vs. Procrastination in the name of Pattern Extraction)

No, really. My exceptional book club is discussing "The Soap Opera Effect." In case you don't want to read the article (which I didn't but I did read it) it's a setting in Smart TVs which inserts AI-generated frames to smooth out motion in fast-moving scenes. Motion-smoothing was invented because some people found action unnerving when it didn't match expectations.

This is why we care about prosody, right? Right.

Tina Ross taught me the word, but Bill Goodell has been teaching me to be mindful of prosody in songwriting without using the word (like making horse sounds, for example.) We are delighted when the feel of the music matches the sentiment of the lyrics. We like surprises, but we insist on being able to understand (or believe we do) how the author arrived at that decision in the plot. We love our feelings validated, and we especially love our own Aha! moment. This is how songs (movies, books, art) feel familiar to us and create comfort. Prosody creates a unified package.

Our ability to assign emotion to patterns we find (or don't) is something that fascinates me. I used to believe that some people can discern finer grains of detail than others; now I think most people can​ but just don't find it interesting enough to do so consciously. Most people would like me to stop finding discernment interesting and go do something that cleans up the space between me and everybody else. Still nobody comes over to see the things I like, so there's just not enough reinforcement for me. I'm going back out in the weeds.

What I like may seem weird, but I assure you it's all in the name of science. Mind the incendiaries...


Further Reading: 

Prosody in Linguistics - Researchgate  Every circle of humans is an opportunity to add to your personal universe. I got this tidbit from Tina Ross's circle of humans who show up to hear her play live every Sunday at 7PM on Facebook. Come over. 

Prosody in Songwriting - The Song Foundry   I'm getting good at extracting mentors from my circle of people, and extracting lessons from my mentors. Stand by - pretty soon I'll have one on sequencing. 

Take This Horse - Gates & Goodell    When I finally had the pleasure of meeting el Chaparrito Bill F. Goodell in person (because he paid for album cover art in frequent flier miles) I heard him tell this story a couple of times. The first time he said Take This Horse, I yelled across the table between bites of Albondigas, "That's a song." When I got home, I wrote it & sent it to him. Bill and John knocked out a suitable arrangement in a couple hours. Please enjoy the delightful result

The Soap Opera Effect - digital trends   If you can recommend more evidentiary articles about fine-detail irritations, please do. Even if you cannot, please just believe people when they say something annoys them. 


What Are Emotional-Behavioral Patterns? - Richard Harvey, LinkedIn  Dr. Harvey's brief article focuses on knee-jerk reactions, but he reminds us of the usefulness of knowing how we work. This is crucial for creators who want to cause a certain reaction in the audience. This is important for the audience to trust we'll take them somewhere safe. 


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