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Why is this iPhone alarm so controversial ?

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Among the many alarms available on iPhones,the one called “Seaside” provokes mixed reactions to say the least. Far from evoking the serenity of a beach bathed in sunshine, it has turned into a real subject of discord. Some compare it to the unbearable crunching of nails on a blackboard, while others liken it to the shrill cries of a toddler in mid-flight, reports CNN in this article.

We sometimes know how the sphere of the Web can ignite on certain themes, no matter how futile they may be, without much valid reason.  So what are the elements that make this alarm clock so unpleasant to the ears of certain users?

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A disturbing musical puzzle

The explanation of this aversion to the “  Seaside » lies in its musical particularities. Carlos Xavier Rodriguez, professor of music theory at the University of Michigan, highlights two problematic aspects.

First of all, the absence of a clearly identifiable tone. In music, tonality is a fundamental concept, which provides a harmonic structure around which a melody is built. When a tone is identifiable, the listener can recognize and even predict harmonic changes. The majority of musical cultures in the world are based on tonality systems which therefore provide a stable harmonic basis; if a melody does not respect this convention, it can thus be perceived as unpleasant.

Second point, this melody does not end on a weak beat, that is to say a stable note which gives a feeling of conclusion. It is precisely the absence of the latter that makes “Seaside” not very pleasant to listen to. From there to comparing it to the crunching of nails on a painting…

Professor Rodriguez also highlights another phenomenon: l’appearance uncanny valley (valley of l’ strange) of the melody. This notion refers to a theory from the 1970s put forward by a Japanese roboticist, Masahiro Mori: the more a robot tends to resemble a human being, the more we tend to perceive all of its irregularities or imperfections. as abominable. The concept has since expanded to other areas, and Rodriguez calls it “seaside.” that it “ recalls computerized music, strangely devoid of human touch”.

The concept of the uncanny valley is particularly present in the video game world, where some characters modeled in 3D, intended to have a realistic rendering, end up being completely distressing (see video below, taken from the game The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion).

A viral phenomenon

Social networks are full of harsh comments about this controversial ringtone. A particularly scathing message on X captured general attention, garnering 160,000 likes and more than 15,000 retweets. It said: “ If your alarm is “Seaside”, you are an unserious person ”.

Many users report the undesirable physiological and psychological effects caused by this morning melody. Some report an instinctive reaction of “flight or fight”, while others report more worrying symptoms such as heart palpitations.

In short, a lot of noise, about not much . The melody is certainly not unforgettable, not really pleasant to listen to, but from there to running away in front of your phone, we have the right to doubt it a little.Social networks in all their splendor !

  • An alarm from the&#8217 ;iPhone called “Seaside” causes controversy on the web and social networks.
  • It would be unbearable to listen to to the point that some people end up feeling bad.
  • According to a music theory professor, this melody contains aberrations in its composition.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116