Audio illusions

Last Sunday I took part in a carol concert, both singing in the Bangor Community Choir, and singing with everybody else as part of the audience / congregation. The chapel where this took place is a bilingual one where people are encouraged to sing in Welsh or English – words for both are projected on the front wall. I think roughly half of those there sang in Welsh and the other half in English. I sang mostly in Welsh, and found that when doing so, I could hear the other people singing in Welsh around me and could hardly hear those singing in English. The opposite was true when I sang in English – I could hear the other people singing in English, but couldn’t hear the Welsh singing nearly as clearly. Occasionally I stopped singing for a little while and could hear both languages, though if I concentrated on one, the other wasn’t as clear.

It was a bit like one of those pictures which look like one thing if you look at them in a certain way, and like something else if you look at them differently. With those it’s almost impossible to see both versions at the same time. When I was singing I could hear both languages being sung around me if I concentrated on doing so, but the one I was singing in was much more noticeable and easier to hear.

Have you had any similar experiences?

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share
This entry was posted in English, Language, Music, Welsh.

One Response to Audio illusions

  1. Andrew says:

    I’ve never had that happen, but it sounds like a really fascinating psychological phenomenon that I’d like to learn more about, though.