New music powers

I have written before about how I am pretty terrible at canvassing music in my head.  This lends to the appalling ability (to musically oriented people) to be able to do things like listen to the same song on repeat 500 times or more in a row without being bothered by it either way.  I never cared more than the sense of “this is interesting but irrelevant” on the idea.

Being indifferent to music has given me the ability to be completely useless at holding a musical preference, or explore the value of music in terms of going to music events, or participating in musical experiences.

This week something changed!  Or more accurately last week.  Last week I was listening to a piece for the n’th time, but at the same time was quite badly sleep deprived.  As I was listening the music started falling apart.  Different parts of the music changed volume so that I could isolate different instruments and follow different features of the music.  At the time, being a bit sleep deprived I took it as a warning that maybe it was time to go to bed.  hint hint: your going a little nuts.

Today I noticed I can still do it.  When I am no longer sleep deprived I can pay attention to music in a different way than I used to be able to.  I can single out the drums and only “listen” to that part, or the guitar, or the vocals.  (it’s pop music on the radio).

Of course the reason I bothered to write about it, and the reason that it’s interesting is; as half the readers can probably imagine – I told a musical friend of mine that I had developed new powers and he said,

Wait, people can’t normally do that?

So I get to add this to the pile of typical mind, sensory perception assumptions that we make when we interpret our own individual world through our own senses.  What if your senses worked a bit differently?  How much would that fundamentally change how you operate as a human?  How much you assume about the world around you and how it works?  And how everyone else works?

Question:  What are your natural assumptions about how your senses work?  Have you ever noticed anyone else acting on different basic natural assumptions?

Meta: this took 45mins to write.

Cross posted to lesswrong:

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