APB-- Anchor pitch?

Comments and questions about AP Avenue.
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Dana
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APB-- Anchor pitch?

Post by Dana » Thu Nov 23, 2006 11:04 pm

I played the APB for the 4th time and I got only to Cadet 3rd class.

I seem to think that it is not really teaching me the 'chroma' of C, but rather it is an exercise in relative pitch where the listener stores the correct tone in their short-term memory and then compares the notes/intervals to their memory to check see if it matches, or to see if the note is in the 3 note chord.

I am hoping that the above it true in the beginning, but as more experience comes the listener gains the 'chroma' experience of the C and makes a snap judgement on the tested note/interval/chord.

People have made comments that when playing APB they hear C's jump out at them while listening to TV etc, and this can be explained easily due to the immediate anchor effect the reference tone has.

Think of it this way: If you are listening to a blues song played in an open G tuned guitar, then you would hear G's on the TV the same way, you are not really hearing the 'chroma'. You are actually comparing the heard notes to the anchor you have.

This is similar to the way people play music and naturally know the root note for a resolution, or if you are noodling on the piano/guitar in a particular key and everything you play MUST finish/resolve to that key tone because you have already established it as an anchor.

aruffo
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Post by aruffo » Thu Nov 23, 2006 11:50 pm

I'll definitely agree with you that the greatest handicap of the game is that, because of its one-at-a-time structure, it inadvertently encourages you to "store the correct tone in their short-term memory." The "launch code" process is going to become the central action of the game for this exact reason.

you are not really hearing the 'chroma'. You are actually comparing the heard notes to the anchor you have.


It's entirely possible. It doesn't really matter how or why the notes "pop out", or whether or not you've got an anchor, or whether your anchor is "relative" or "absolute", because it's the comparison between stimuli (imagined and perceived, in this case) which causes chroma to be learned. That is, hearing the tones pop out is not a final result; it's part of the learning process.

KosciaK
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Post by KosciaK » Fri Nov 24, 2006 8:43 am

What do you mean by "anchor"? Some kind of template or model you compare to?
It seems to me that hearing chroma and anchoring are two different things but both needed to gain AP.
From my experience - I can hear inside the tones new characteristic I haven't been able (or I wasn't aware before) to hear before. And yes - by the repetition of the games and using short term memory to store the pitch (or rather storing this new characteristic, that I call X-ness, some might call chroma) this template is moved to long term memory.

You can divide octave in as many ways you want so without these anchors/templates of the pitches you wouldn't know whoch is which

etaxier
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Post by etaxier » Fri Nov 24, 2006 2:22 pm

Many of the comparison tones are in the key/modality of C at the beginning of the game (I vaguely remember C predictably appearing in the bass of chords early on).

Let me add to Chris and Kosciak's answers by directly addressing your immediate concern: the tones that surround the "anchor pitch" get more and more complicated in their relationship to that pitch as you progress in the game. C becomes an element (3rd, 5th, 7th, etc.) of an unrelated key, like Ab or F#, and later on it becomes an element in tone clusters. Same goes for the melodies: at the beginning C's usually at the very beginning or end of a melody; this changes as the game progresses, and the melodies get longer as well.

This basically means that eventually, C doesn't act as any kind of "anchor pitch," and if you still hear it that way after making some progress, that's a good thing.

Dana
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Post by Dana » Sat Nov 25, 2006 2:49 pm

Well, if it turns out that the APB does not teach the 'chroma' of a note at all and instead teaches your ear to 'get into' an interval, 3 and 4 note chords and find the target note, then this is still a GREAT game.

I have no problem with this weird little game improving my relative pitch in this manner-- in fact hearing all the notes in a chord is probably the most difficult thing for the majority of musicians in my humble opinion.

One stupid question: During the game, the left graphics are obscured, and they seem to be filling more out as I improve. Is this a graphic defect, or is the picture revealed more as you get better?

KosciaK
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Post by KosciaK » Sat Nov 25, 2006 3:55 pm

Dana wrote:Well, if it turns out that the APB does not teach the 'chroma' of a note at all


No, it does.
As you can hear C (as a first pitch) in more and more complex contexts you learn how to extract the Cness (chroma) of the pitch that can be heard no matter in what context it is.

About the picture on the left - at the end of the rank the picture will be fully visible

aruffo
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Post by aruffo » Sat Nov 25, 2006 8:06 pm

I looked a little further on what it would mean to be "anchored", and I think what you're talking about is what P.T. Brady mistakenly identified as perfect pitch, and which a Russian system currently claims is perfect pitch, which is to "anchor" to a particular do and infer all the other pitches as scale degrees of that anchor.

You're quite right, Dana, that it is possible a person may initially treat the C as an anchor, and that their recognition of the tone could come entirely from the new experience of C as a "home base". But as Eric quite rightly (and succinctly) points out, the nature of the game pulls you away from the tone as an anchor by forcing you to recognize it within contexts in which it cannot possibly function as an anchor.

The greatest flaw in the APB game right now-- not in terms of its playability as a game, but in how the gameplay affects the learning process-- is that, by presenting only one query sound at a time, it encourages you to try to hold some kind of fixed C-sound in your head rather than trust the C to exist in all its multiple disguises. I think this problem may be what you're recognizing as a problem.

Also in favor of what you're saying, I'll mention briefly-- briefly, partly because I intend to address it more fully on the main page, and also because I'm on holiday with my family and they're clamoring for me to join them right now-- I have decided to reject existing descriptions of "levels of absolute pitch" in favor of the phonemic-awareness model. That is, absolute pitch skill is not measured in how well you identify or recall tones, but by how fully your absolute skill is integrated with your relative comprehension.

Dana
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Good

Post by Dana » Sun Nov 26, 2006 3:05 am

Chris, you understand my position perfectly.

I truly appreciate the fact that you both take the time to comprehend this complex subject, and you also have a committment to develop the teaching tool. This is very amazing, as most people are out to make only $$$.

How ever long it takes, you are on the right path....

Wade
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Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 3:25 pm

Post by Wade » Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:23 pm

I've noticed that even with the launch codes I tend to find the target pitch and then use it as an anchor. It's occurred to me that this may be cheating, in a way, since I basically just go back and forth comparing the sound of each new button with the one I've already decided on. Is there some way around this in future versions--say, by preventing you from listening to a new sound until you've already clicked on the red or green button for the last one? Maybe that would be too cumbersome.

aruffo
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Post by aruffo » Tue Dec 05, 2006 12:34 am

As long as you're making comparisons-- whether to a mental image or among the button sounds-- that's what the system's meant to encourage.

Wade
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Post by Wade » Tue Dec 05, 2006 1:28 am

Glad to know that I wasn't playing it wrong after all.

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