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Re: Pitch learning (UNCLASSIFIED)

Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED 
Caveats: NONE

Without purporting to have any theories about what is being learned, I'll share my own experience.

As a child learning both violin and piano, I had some difficulty learning to tune my violin to the piano. I had difficulty telling when they were the same pitch, because the timbre was so different (neither instrument was of very good quality). This was before those neat little tuner gadgets. I finally achieved the task by learning that I could match my hum to the note of the piano and the note of the violin. If my humming was the same for both instruments, I was in tune. If not, I adjusted the violin.

If the English language made any sense, a catastrophe would be an apostrophe with fur. -Doug Larson, Olympic Gold Medalist (1902-1981)

Angelique Scharine PhD
Army Research Lab - HRED
APG, MD 21005-5425
(410) 278-5957 (landline)
298-5957 (dsn)
(410) 278-3587 (fax)

-----Original Message-----
From: AUDITORY - Research in Auditory Perception [mailto:AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Ole Kühl
Sent: Wednesday, February 07, 2007 5:21 AM
To: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Pitch learning

Martin Braun wrote:
"It's timbre learning. Automatic association of timbre and chroma, the latter being derived from the summation of octave-spaced partials, results in a secure "secondary" pitch perception.

An analogy is chord identification. Highly trained musicians can identify chord categories from the timbre of a chord."
I find this idea very interesting, and believe it to be true as I have long suspected it to be the case that chord learning is actually timbre learning. If there is any empirical evidence for this I would be most grateful for the particulars.
Incidentally, this seems to be not only a higher order function, but also an example of what in the lingo of  cognitive semantics would be called conceptual integration or "blending". We could say that we conceptualize a pitch through the integration of information from two different domains: a perceived timbre domain and a learned schema for partials.
Ole Kühl
Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED 
Caveats: NONE