Thursday, December 26, 2013

The use of effective surprise…

Today I've been working on a sidebar about effective surprise, a subject I've discussed many times before in the blog.

Researchers studying music are attempting to understand why some causes emotional response and some does not, as described in this article in the New York Times, To Tug Hearts, Music First Must Tickle the Neurons, by Pam Belluck.
"Research is showing...  that our brains understand music not only as emotional diversion, but also as a form of motion and activity. The same areas of the brain that activate when we swing a golf club or sign our name also engage when we hear expressive moments in music. Brain regions associated with empathy are activated, too, even for listeners who are not musicians.

And what really communicates emotion may not be melody or rhythm, but moments when musicians make subtle changes to the those musical patterns."
Jerome Bruner's concept of "effective surprise" should have been a thing explored by the writer for the New York Times, as it helps to explain why some executions of musical works are merely that, executions, leaving the work dead, the listener as much so, and some are awakenings. In explaining effective surprise, Bruner quotes Yeats,
God guard me from those thoughts men think
In the mind alone;
He that sings a lasting song
Thinks in a marrow-bone.
And so teachers, too, should learn to think in the marrow bone. Effective surprise is a tool that wood workers utilize in creating lasting work, or that a chemistry teacher seeks to engage in the laboratory to capture the lasting interest of his scholars. Get it?

The boxes in the photo above are from the chapter in my new book that addresses effective surprise and the photo of leaves was simply selected from my collection of original photography. Even photography makes use of "effective surprise."A more detailed description of the use of effective surprise in 3-D design will be in the book.

Make, fix and create...

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