User talk:Mdlayt

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Hello, Mdlayt, and welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are some pages that you might find helpful:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your messages on discussion pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically insert your username and the date. If you need help, check out Wikipedia:Questions, ask me on my talk page, or ask your question on this page and then place {{helpme}} before the question. Again, welcome! -- Kendrick7talk 05:41, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

I like Mydlayt's question about "What is 'perfect'?" regarding pitch discernment. I was cursed with pitch memory, and I also went through a piano tuning program. To answer the question; I can tell you that my level of acuity likely not comes close to 2 cents or even maybe 10 cents, depending on the music interval or harmonic context in question. Equal temperament, let's recall, has the major third as being more than 15 cents above 'perfect' or 'just' tuning. That doesn't bother me a bit, nor anyone else. I think that it's disingenuous (to be polite) that some anecdotal accounts (presented by academia in abundance, in the article) claiming that some people with this ability are supposedly 'troubled' if something is played back at a slightly different pitch (speed) or played in another key. Musical (song) "standards" are presented in different keys all the time, in the first place, and we're all used to it. If you haven't listened to the same Bach violin concerto or jazz standard in at least three different keys, then you haven't listened to much music aside from Lady GagMe. When (if) somebody from academia and their dubious 'studies' report that some 'pitch memory person' has complained about the major third in equal temperament as being 'too sharp' for their taste, then I might take them seriously. In the mean time, they should just stop with all the blatant conjecture. (The numerous and thorough citations in this article, which make Wiki so happy, nonetheless quote a discombobulation of references which make the article immensely self contradictory and thoroughly confusing). 

I've read a lot about psychoacoustics (because I was a sound technician also) and in in my own experience and in reading my own studies on the matter, I have gathered that most humans (even I) don't care a whole lot about the particular pitch (certainly not the frequency) per se, for it's own sake, but rather how it fits in harmonic or melodic context. All that matters is that the major third, e.g., sound more like a major third and not like a minor third or a fourth. The fact that we all accept the ~15 cents sharp major third of modern equal temperament as above perfect tuning tells us that the musical ear (and even the limbic brain, no surprise) allows for a lot of leeway there. I'm no different than any other musically competent and aurally competent person in that regard. -It's just that I can name what key the music is presented in with out reference to piano or guitar-, either instantly or within 2 seconds. Once I found this ability in myself, it was at first beyond me (perplexing) why everybody else, especially musicians, didn't have it also.

People are wrong when they say (or conjecture) that it can be taught. I think that it's a genetic anomaly and nothing more. A 'dog and pony trick' of genetics, if you will. There are plenty of families and generations of musically inclined people where the instance of pitch memory or 'tone memory' never occurred. Mozart was composing at age 5, under tutelage of his very musically competent father, and Bach came from a long line of well regarded musicians. None of them had pitch memory, though having musical training at the earliest age. Whereas I am an essentially mediocre musician, have no muse, and nobody in my immediate family played any musical instrument before I did. Believe me, almost every professional musician I know, especially the music professors, wish that it were a teachable thing. Relative pitch (essentially, learning of musical intervals and distinction of one from another) can be taught, practiced, and improved upon, but musical tone memory (ability to name a note upon hearing) is either in place to begin with or it is not.

To answer a few other questions on the subject; I didn't know I had this ability until I took a music theory class at age twenty (I had learned a lot of songs on my own before then, mostly letter perfect, I just didn't know or question how I did it). At the start of the fourth or fifth session of the music dictation section of this class (where the instructor usually gave the starting note to the class before proceeding), he suddenly stopped and asked me directly what note it was, after he played it. I thought it was a bizarre question at the time, but to my surprise, I answered "D" almost immediately. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:558:6011:34:3133:5B2F:865A:3395 (talk) 10:02, 24 February 2015 (UTC)