perfect pitch (was RE: hunting for harps)

Date sent:  6-JUL-1995 11:03:52 

>Date: Thu, 06 Jul 1995 10:19:22 -0400
>From: KPGraham@xxxxxxx
>Subject: RE: hunting for harps
>>I understand there are courses that purport to teach perfect pitch.
>I have a "Good ear" in that I can do intervals and pick out songs
>easily, but I wish that I had perfect pitch.
	Sounds like you have a good sense of "relative pitch" as opposed to 
perfect pitch.  Me too, and that's just the way I like it.  I knew this 
guitar player once (we were both cranies at the time) who had perfect pitch
and sometimes it really presented a problem for him.  If we were jamming in 
the lounge at the end of the hall in our dorm and tuned to the piano that 
was there it would sound okay to me once everything was tuned up...but this 
guy would be cringing the whole time because he said the pitch of the piano 
was off a little.  He eventually gave up playing in there because of this.  
The piano player didn't know what to do...and SUNY Potsdam wasn't about to 
tune our piano special for this guy.
	I don't know if you can teach perfect pitch (I don't think so) but 
I do know that you can train your ear to hear intervals...and even be able 
to pick out pitches.  You can listen to an A (440) tuning fork and get that 
sound in your head.  I knew one person who could sing the old tonight show 
theme and from that first note (an E maybe?) they would be able to hear 
the interval to any other note and thus be able to tell you what any note 
they heard was.  Another person used the N-B-C notes (V-III-I) not only to 
find pitches but also to hear the sixth interval betweeen the first two 
notes.  I sing down until my voice cracks or goes out...the lowest note I 
can sing reliably is an E...yup (I just checked it again) and from that I 
can determine other notes by hearing the interval from that low E to the 
note I want to know.  Whatever works, eh?
	I did read an article in our local paper that some studies had been 
done which seemed to indicate that if you expose very young children to 
music (I mean babies) that it develops (enlarges) a certain part of the brain..
I can't remember but this area of the brain was the first physiological area 
to be shown to actually correlate with an artistic ability...and that can 
lead to the development of perfect pitch.  The article also said that 
playing Motzart (why not Bach or Beethoven?) to young children also helped 
them develop a higher aptitude for math and problem solving later in life.
	So unless you're some kind of prodigy that has an internet account 
at the age of 3 I think it's too late to be taught perfect pitch...but it 
might not be too late to play your harp for your kids or grandchildren!

Bill Long >-- StarGazer --< N2LAG	longwj@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    longwj@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx			   (

p.s.-opposing viewpoints welcome.

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