Thursday, May 8, 2008

Perfect Pitch

I'm getting better at knowing this computer, but still not perfect yet.  I wanted to download a video here, but just can't get it to work.  It is a video of a perfect Tuesday night in New Hampshire, at a high school band concert.  The music was loud, and fairly uncoordinated, the gym was decorated with American flags and we all sat on folding chairs watching the kids perform.  The very loud "WAAHHH" of the various wind instruments when they start playing, the loud drums, the serious faces - there is nothing like it - I smiled till I laughed and cried. 
But something occurred to me as I listened to the music, without even thinking about it, I know exactly which notes are slightly flat, or sharp - when the tempo is slightly off, and when the drums don't come in at exactly the right time.  It's something that I take for granted, this perfect pitch - and I began to wonder if, like learning to see colors, this is something that one can enhance and teach your brain to learn.  Has anyone out there ever tried?  I'd be interested in your opinions. 
It's interesting to me that I yearn to see colors like others who can see red, green, yellow, blue, pink in what I consider to be a grey tree.  Yes, I am slowly teaching my brain that there are other colors in that grey - but I never had to teach my ears to hear.  Is it genetic?  Was I so exposed to music at a young age that my brain "learned" pitch and tone so perfectly? 
I never thought twice about this gift - because it was always there.  I'm planning to enjoy it a bit more now. 

(That ear looks like a cup handle!!)


Debra Kay said...

I think we each hear different tones that resonate to us and us alone. Perfect pitch is probably those tones that are universally pleasing.

And my brain appears to process some voices differently than others. I love Bruce Springstein and Alice Cooper-but it is the emotion behind their voices, not the pitch that speaks to me. I got to hear the late Pavorotti in person one time-and he could have sang "shit shit shit" for all I cared, his voice was so lovely I would have listened to it all night. I had heard him before, but live, I got the reality of it-this was not electronically enhanced, it was REAL-a gift from God. The Moody Blues (I bet you remember them) is another band that played with tones and pitch in their music, and their music is even better without drugs! I've come to realize their signature "flute break" in a lot of their music was a great way to bring you back to the music....and they were all masters at singing within their best ranges.

I love the music vibe-I posted about song on Poidogz today-must be in the air!

Michele said...

I'm not really sure. Like you, I can tell when a note is off, etc. but I have no idea why. I've always been around music, piano lessons when I was young, flute in high school, but I don't particularly like music. When I'm in my car, I listen to nothing, unless Zoe is in the back and then I listen to her movie of the day. I'm one of those weird folks that while I like music, I could really do without it and I'd be ok.

Forever Young said...

i like the drawings very much, and yes we don't 'count those blessings' as much as we should!