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Re: Pitch learning

Dear List members,

I just returned from my son's high-school band concert. Hardly any frequency was used more than once, and the inharmonicity was awesome to behold. And yet there was a tonal system in play. If I were to grant Linda's premise, or Susan's (with whom I went to college--Hi Suzie!), then we might need to outlaw generalizations and categorizations of any kind. Vilayat Khan, whom I once engaged for a concert, was an amazing (if famously ill-tempered) musician. Yet I would venture that his mental representation of Sa and Pa (1 and 5 of the That or parent scale) hover as close to a 3/2 frequency ratio as did Mozart's representation of Do and Sol. If that commonality across cultural and geographic space-time could be explained by their sharing similar auditory systems with similar frequency-processing neuro-physiologies, I don't see how the empirical facts of the matter make one musician the colonizer of the other, or makes the person who describes co-firings between neural pulse trains insensitive to performance nuance.

Just some late-night thoughts on a rainy spring day (the perfect moment for Raga Bahar),

Bob Gjerdingen