Thursday, January 04, 2007

Dne Na Ot Emoc Sgniht Doog Lla Od Yhw - melody matters!

The title to this post might seem like complete jibberish and no, it is not sung in Welsh or any other slightly obscure language!
Some songs are instantly recognisable in just a few seconds, if it takes that long as merely just a couple of notes are enough if one knows it well. That is a fascinating reflection on the way the human mind has developed to distinguish sounds by nuances such as pitch and timbre. The above "song title" is simply spelt backwards but it is hard to spot that in a similar time, just as samples of well known songs often are when used as sampled elements in remixes of songs of a completely different genre and style. and this is often the basis of "phone-in" quizzes on the radio. I have for some time subscribed to the theory that the best clues almost always lie in the melody, if that is present in the sample, as it tends to survive in a recognisable form almost regardless of genre and style.

The above title is that of a recent (late 2006) UK single release that is quite recognisable from the melody even when the song is played backwards and
once I have worked out how to add such content to my blog I'll add clips from the song, played in both directions, so you can see if you agree with me!
The melody writer might also be apparent, even though he does not sing on it (well not on this version at least) though it rumoured that it is to be re-released to be shortly and, this time with the aforementioned on backing vocals.

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