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Re: On "learned" A/P, lattice / grid

Dear Kevin, Leon, and others,

I did not consider this AP, but (later) rather as 'instrumental / body pitch'. In testing in-coming ear-training students over a period of about 15 years, my first question to string players was: "Name this note." The usual response was, "I don't have perfect pitch." I would ask the student to 'pretend hold' their violin or bass, and to bow the note as I played it on the piano. Almost all (!) could tell me the name of the note from this 'positioning' of their body. As with my experience with a number of other instrumentalists, it is as if the pitch were "learned" by their body.

Of course this is AP. What else could it be? These observations definitely reveal a memory of absolute pitch values in the brain. An appropriate term would be "subconscious AP", or "precognitive AP". All data that we have indicate that this is a universal trait. So you might like to say that you have AP, but non-verbal AP.

We are currently seeing a u-turn in our understanding of AP. Memory of chroma appears to be a general trait, and music theory might once wake up to the fact that it has been missing half of its job. Pitch combinations do not just work through intervals, but through chroma and intervals. Well, chroma has always been on the dark side of the moon. That's why music theory did not get at it. The good thing is that good composers and musicians of all times, and irrespective of verbal AP, have made use of chroma memory - subconsciously.


Martin Braun
Neuroscience of Music
S-671 95 Klässbol
web site: http://w1.570.telia.com/~u57011259/index.htm