[Harp-L] What Key?

Rick Dempster rickdempster33@xxxxx
Thu Nov 3 10:59:20 EDT 2016

I have occasional "perfect pitch", Aongus. Sometimes I have a
song in my head, which I've always heard or played in a particular key, but
may not have played for a long time,
and I walk to the piano and hit that key, and I'm right.
In my case, I think, it's memory, not some innate ability to hear notes like
seeing colours, which it is for a handful of people I've met over the years.

On 3 November 2016 at 22:41, Aongus Mac Cana <amaccana at xxxxx> wrote:

> Thanks Guys!
> Once again this forum has provided some enlightenment to a musical
> ignoramus.
> About sixty years ago I invested in a Chromatic Harmonica - because the
> book
> said that was the only proper one to buy, and I was  still innocent enough
> to believe everything I read in books.
> In theory this enabled me to play in any key, but quite unconsciously I
> developed the bad habit of transcribing in my head everything to the key of
> the instrument: C. I could have saved myself a few pennies by just buying a
> Diatonic.
> A few years ago I heard about this magical talent that you had to be born
> with called "Perfect Pitch", where you could hum or whistle any note
> straight out of your head without having to hear it first. Two guys in the
> Irish music scene were known to be gifted with this ability and were
> respected for it. One of them was a skilled exponent of the five row button
> accordion (a.k.a. "The Typewriter") called Fintan Stanley. The other was a
> popular singer called Sonny Knowles who rejoiced in the nick name of "The
> Window Cleaner" because of the way he moved his hands when he sang.
> These two gentlemen were held in awe by the musical community because of
> their ability to instantly tell when they entered a hall what key the band
> were playing in.
> A man called David Lucas Burge claims that you do not have to be born with
> Perfect Pitch, but that you can actually be taught to develop both Relative
> Pitch and Perfect Pitch. He markets two CD courses to prove it.  I have
> dipped in to his material and think that there may be something in it all
> right, but I don't know if I am going to live long enough to prove it one
> way or the other.
> Beannachtai
> Aongus Mac Cana

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