This one made made me think

Thoughts and responses regarding the research at acousticlearning.com.
png
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:29 am

This one made made me think

Postby png » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:57 am

When I started learning music, I had many exercises in solfege.
As most of the students, I had relative pitch - so these exercises were
about the teacher played a note than an other one, and we had to tell
what is the difference, in musical terms.
Let me say, it wasn't the easiest - at first.
I mixed up similar sounding intervals, like fifth/fourth, but eventually
after practicing, I noticed the differences between them.
Right now, I can differentiate and name every interval, even if it is
above an octave ( so ninth, thirteenth, etc... ).
Later the teacher introduced the scales, and the modes. Like Ionian,
myxolid, etc., and we had to learn to think in scale degrees. Now this
had also require practice, maybe even more than doing the interval thing.

What I'm about explain, that even if I had relative pitch, it didn't mean
that I can do every exercise at all.
Yes I heard, that it is a major second, and it heard it in a relative way,
but when the teacher played me a new note-pair I couldn't tell, if it is
the same or not.

So at that moment, I had relative pitch, without the ability the name the
intervals.

Is there a similar experience for perfect pitch? Maybe we can hear, or at least
interpret the notes like a perfect pitch person, but can't name the notes.
Maybe, as I mixed up some intervals in my head, it is possible that an unexperienced
person with perfect pitch will mix some notes.
Some could say that for a person with perfect pitch these are so different that it is
no way that he/she could mix them up.
Really? I could say for this now to intervals -> I mixed the fourth/fifth, but now I feel
that they are so much different I couldn't remember how could I mix up these two.

So, this made me think -> Is it possible to hear like a perfect pitch person?
Maybe we already hear this way, but we don't pay attention to it.
Maybe we already hear the chroma, but couldn't categorize it, so we think that we missed it.
When the teacher played me a C-D, then a F#-G# and I said these are different intervals, it
didn't mean that I had no relative pitch, it just meant that it wasn't perfect.

You know what I'm thinking about, dont' you?

Is there a way to be sure that you hear like a perfect pitch person?
Is there an exercise to do this, without telling the notes?

zacxpacx
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:51 pm
Location: United States

Postby zacxpacx » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:18 am

Hey png, take a look at all of Chris's research and at some other posts on this forum, especially lorelei's descriptions of how he hears music. But the short answer to your question: no, not everyone has perfect pitch.

lorelei
Posts: 221
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:36 am

Postby lorelei » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:19 am

Is there a similar experience for perfect pitch? Maybe we can hear, or at least
interpret the notes like a perfect pitch person, but can't name the notes.
Maybe, as I mixed up some intervals in my head, it is possible that an unexperienced
person with perfect pitch will mix some notes.
Some could say that for a person with perfect pitch these are so different that it is
no way that he/she could mix them up.
Really? I could say for this now to intervals -> I mixed the fourth/fifth, but now I feel
that they are so much different I couldn't remember how could I mix up these two.


Well, after years of musical training and using PP, they are pretty much impossible to confuse. However, I have heard of cases where not all notes are impossible for people to confuse: I know a violinist, for example, who has PP but has trouble identifying notes that are more than, say, an octave below the range of the violin, and I know another person who usually gets the notes right, without thinking but sometimes inexplicably messes them up.
There are varying strengths of PP: while some have trouble picking out even 2 notes in a chord, others can name all the notes in a complex chord at the drop of a hat. And I can say from experience that it can be made stronger. However, whether or not it can be learned... I would have to know more about the situation.

Also, you might find this interesting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTQC0KHikjs

zacxpacx
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:51 pm
Location: United States

Postby zacxpacx » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:34 am

Lorelei, you can say from experience that someone with absolute pitch can improve their ability? That's interesting.

From experience, do you think there's any limit to how much someone can improve? For example, could the person that has trouble picking even 2 notes out of a chord learn to name all the notes in a complex chord as proficiently as the person who could naturally do it already? How much effort/time does it take?

lorelei
Posts: 221
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:36 am

Postby lorelei » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:25 am

Hello, I just realized you had asked me a question and I hadnt responded for a while... Sorry about that.
Yes, I certainly have noticed that it is a skill that can be improved. Mine has improved during the couple years I have spent in music school. As for how much effort and practice it takes to become better, I have a hard time estimating because theoretically you could say that I "practice" whenever I hear something and identify the pitch, even if subconsciously (which happens a lot over the course of the day). I do sometimes practice consciously, in that I try to listen to sounds around me with obscure timbres. This, I notice, has helped me in hearing chroma of odd timbres and has possibly also made me better at picking notes out of chords. Certainly, it is a process, and slowly occurs over a large time frame, although its hard to put an exact time to it.
As for a limit, I'm not sure. Certainly the person who barely has AP and struggling to identify any notes will take a while, if they ever are able to reach the point where they can hear someone sit on a keyboard and then name all the notes. I haven't heard of this happening to that extent, but who knows.


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