Morse is music

A column from Telegraph and Telephone Age in 1910.

Morse is a way of speaking and hearing language, so it ‘logically’ should be processed in the same parts of the brain as spoken language.

These 1910 observations indicate that Morse occupies the same areas as music. Experienced operators were not bothered at all by general noise or loud conversations in the area, but the slightest hint of music knocked them down. Best of all, telegraphers who didn’t have an ‘ear for music’ were not distracted.

Irrelevant but salient: Note the general openness and looseness of city life in 1910. A boy could walk through a telegraph office whistling. Now he’d be hauled off by CPS and thrown into foster care. Open windows let in music from live brass bands in the street. Now hermetically sealed windows throb to the 200 dB seismic earthquakes from autotuned computer-generated “rock” “music”.  A live band could play Dixie in Madison Square without being bombed down to bedrock by FBI.  A writer could describe Dixie as a ‘patriotic air’ without being bombed down to bedrock by FBI.

Experiment: I tried sending my daily code practice / prayer while listening to Beethoven’s 1st piano concerto at a nice loud satisfying volume. I didn’t have any trouble with the standard part of the practice. Tried sending some words from the nearest reading material. Still no trouble. I’m left-handed, but I always key right-handed. Left-handers often have a different arrangement of music and speech areas. Might be the explanation.

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