Unexpected perceptions while playing Chordhopper

Comments and questions about Chordhopper.
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Location: Amsterdam, NL

Unexpected perceptions while playing Chordhopper

Postby SteveA » Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:21 am

Something weird, and rather wonderful just happened while I was playing Chordhopper.

I'm on the "ticket" level, so I get seven different chords by the end of a session.

I've been able to progress this far easily because I clearly hear the inversion and type of chord within the key signature. All relative skilles, and nothing absolute happening that I'd noticed. I get a choice of three chords to start a game, and as they're all different inversions, I can start on the right chord.

The chords were sounding to me as a single sound. Sometimes the lowest or highest note of the chord would particularly ring out for me. But, I didn't need to pay attention to this to complete a round in the game.

What happened today, pretty much from the start of my session, is that as I heard a chord, I could sense four "beats" of perception, about 1/3 of a second apart. The first beat is the sound of the whole chord, its timbre and attack and volume. The second beat was an awareness of the chroma sensation of the lowest note in the chord (a C in this case). The third beat was the chroma sensation of the next highest note of the chord (the F), and the fourth was the sensation of the top note (the A).

I wasn't trying to do this; it just happened. In fact, if I try to hear the chord like this, all I hear is a single musical noise, and I don't get any chroma sensation at all. Then, if I give up, and play the chord again, it magically opens up with those four beats.

I know it was a series of chroma sensations because it feels the same way it does in APA between levels 15 and 120, and if I recall the sensation right after I hear it, it is only half there... it's not a memory of a sound; instead there's the sense of shimmering pitch sensation that I can't quite hold on to in my mind, but it's different than imagining a tone played on a piano or guitar. One difference is, I can imagine a piano tone, then immediately imagine the piano tone that is one whole tone higher. I just can't do it with this chroma sensation. It's like I try, but nothing comes.

Now, as I reached the middle game of playing arpeggios, it got really interesting. I was still hearing the chord as these four beats of chord-sound, then three chroma sensations. And as I played the notes of the arpeggio, I heard the same chromas that I'd just heard in the chord.

I am hugely excited about hearing it in this way!

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