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  1. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patlotch
    "An interresting feature of absolute pitch recognition is that when errors are made, they are often octaves errors. That is, a tone of pitch C5 is described as C4, or C6."
    That is interesting and may be a clue... it is surprising because ordinary musicians and others would simply not make errors of octaves; it seems like a very peculiar error.

    Perhaps the clue is that absolute pitch should consider being more described as absolute pitch class? This suggests something, too.

    Perception of color is sourced from three types of receptors (four receptors in a very few women, and five receptors in an even less very few women - "vive la différence"!) Perception of scent is sourced from seven types of receptors. In both of these perceptions, we tend to recall and recognize quite well the colors and smells.

    Perception of sound is sourced from around 20000 receptors with individual very narrow frequency bandwidths. As opposed to the eye and nose accessing the relative balance between a few source types, the ear is presenting a couple tens of thousand source types. The curious clue about the octave error may be related to how these thousands of source types are managed with regard to pitch. These source types stimulate neurons, but what is important is not to think that there is a firm relationship between the frequency of sound and the frequency of the neuron's signal rate... it is not the case that there is a neuron for each frequency we hear. The fastest a neuron can fire is just about 1000Hz because it needs a brief refractory period to re-pump ions back outside its axon's wall membrane in order to re-establish the -70mv potential for a subsequent depolarization (to set up the charge for another firing of the neuron).

    The ear does use the neural firing rate as the corresponding signal to indicate the sound frequency up to about 1000Hz, but for sound frequencies above that, the pitch perception is derived through additional processing of which none of the signal rates involved exceeds about 1000Hz. About half of all the notes in music are above this and the majority of all the harmonic frequencies are above this... just to give some sense of how much of what we hear is actually internally derived, constructed, and synthesized - so, subject to individual variation.

    Vladan, as usual, raises very insightful observations. Not even the low frequencies are free from further processing. The perceived pitch is stretched "outwards" (called German tuning on the piano, Sweetened tuning on the guitar) in that in order for the pitches to sound in tune, the lower pitches have to be tuned progressively flatter, and the higher pitches progressively sharper. Using just raw doubling or halving of frequencies for the octaves will sound horribly out of tune away from the center.

    Perceived pitch also goes sharp as the volume increases... you have probably heard this at the end of an orchestral piece that finishes on a fff finale, then suddenly stops, and the softer reverberation of that last chord drops in pitch as it fades.

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  3. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    Perceived pitch also goes sharp as the volume increases... you have probably heard this at the end of an orchestral piece that finishes on a fff finale, then suddenly stops, and the softer reverberation of that last chord drops in pitch as it fades.
    Acoustic research tests are probably carried out in conditions isolated from outside noise, neutralizing the acoustic effects of the halls, etc. nothing comparable with the diverse reality of a concert venue

    a fact that has nothing to do: the Japanese, like the Indonesians I think, do not hear sounds with the same part of the brain as Westerners, it would be closer to the birds, and we understand better then how this could have influenced their traditionnal music

  4. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladan
    Your friend certainly won't process it as "sharp, closer, close, right, flat flatter, close, right, sharp, sharper, but less than 5ms ago ...", or rather soon he would come to overload shutdown. He must allow for some margin. If there is a margin, why would he care about 2 Hz difference. [...] How would your perfect pitched friend feel about it?
    That's quite what I told myself when I wrote my answer. He was professional, big band, with his klezmer orchestra, his jazz quartet, my amateur band... He played in many countries... And all this is far away, in the 80s, I lost sight of it, I can not ask him the question

    the advantage of the relative ear and not absolute is that you can agree as you want. When I was working on the double bass, I wasn't looking for the 440hz. Anyway, I have never made any progress in absolute pitch. When I hear a tonal song, it sings the lyrics in my head sol sol sol do do ré ré sol mi do ... no matter the tonality, even a fourth of the gap. I have to find tricks when the tonality changes. But I never have a problem to play in the 12 tones, because for me, the "lyrics" do do do ré mi are always the same: it's my very special memory of standards

  5. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patlotch
    But I never have a problem to play in the 12 tones, because for me, the "lyrics" do do do ré mi are always the same
    That's "Movable do solfège" - Solfege - Wikipedia

  6. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    That's "Movable do solfège" - Solfege - Wikipedia
    yes, we found this principle in John Mehegan, 1959




    I did "Movable do solfège" as a kind without knowing it, like Mr. Jourdain was doing prose (Molière, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme). I didn't know that this system was taught, and I invented syllables for altered notes: dob deu, do# dè, mib mé, fa# fè etc.

  7. #31

  8. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by medblues
    Let's start with two extremes:



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