Musical Composition, Theory and Songwriting/pitches

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Question
Hi!
I am now into ear training. Recognising pitches, hearing a G and saying it's G, is difficult for me and I have questions.

1.is this all about memory? In order to name that note as A you have to remember how A sound and thus it's all about memory?

2. Would this be difficult if the instrument isn't tuned to A=440?

3. When you depress a key on the piano there will be overtones sounding as well. So you will hear other pitches than 440hz sounding as well. Am I thinking too much or is this good thinking?

4. When learning ear training you are supposed to sing the pitches. Why should you sing pitches when learning ear training? Isn't singing for singing lessons?

Answer
Dear Hank:
   Thanks for the great questions.. These questions are not the typical questions and I'll do my best to answer them..

    1) Is pitch recognition ALL ABOUT MEMORY?  mOST people with this ability, have a few skills working for them.. a) they recognize pitches in the SAME MANNER we recognize COLORs of paint or light, -(yes memory but association)  b) they also have a ''feeling'' associated with the pitch (I have a visual image about ''seeing the notes I hear'' (as if on music paper) c)they also have a relative placement association - like where is this note in my vocal range ? and how does this note'' feel '' when I sing it, - like having relative pitch..  d) some notes are more easily recognized by their being a ''zebra'' note and it stands out among the ''herd'' of other notes.

 2)if you are listening to an out of tune instrument, ?? we do need a standard to go by . so if you LEARNED to recognize pitches FROM ANN OUT OF TUNE ''STANDARD'' piano , then you 'll have learned them incorrectly and all your pitch recognitions will also be ''off''

  3)  the overtones present in the pitches quality is not a problem just the same as hearing an A on an oboe and an A on a violin, or piano.. (IT DOESNT' CHANGE THE ''PITCH'' recognition

  4)  people with GOOD PITCH RECOGNITION do NOT need to sing the pitches , (it might be a help to some- if they are learning the process)   but it might be a helpful aid to learn more characteristics of a pitch than merely listening alone, ((I started out learning pitches by singing them - and I dont' always need to do that now) but use ALL THE ABILITIES YOU HAVE (dont assign a MATH PROBLEM (for example) TO ONLY BEING NEEDED when balancing a check book but avoiding it in the grocery store purchases... - get the connection?  skills overlap..

Musical Composition, Theory and Songwriting

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Chuck

Expertise

I am a professional musician, I can play by ear, I arrange music write music, teach music in the public school system, and teach privately. My father was a school music teacher, and I have written three volumes for teaching beginning string players, taking them from scratch to high school level. I have performed in a local production of Music Man (musical) with celebrities John Davidson/Susan Watson and have my masters degree in education. I retired from the classroom in 2004 with 38 yrs. experience-now still substituting for music- and writing arr. for my cello trio(with two audio cd's and one dvd of a performance)http://cellosound.blogspot.com I have directed church choirs and am principal cellist in our local community orchestra. I really love to arrange music for the groups I perform in and sing and have music in my life every day. A day without music, is a mistake, like having a day without sunshine.

Experience

Employment history: I have been employed by our local school district since 1967 as a music teacher from grades 1-12 Organizations: I play cello principal chair in the local community orchestra, and sing in a chorus,and perfom in a barbershop quartet

Education: My early life in high school and college was summer workshops in choral conducting with founder of Westminster Choir College (N.J.) Dr. John F.Williamson (in Who`s Who in Music) and summer workshops with Robert Shaw in San Diego Grad. of Sacramento STate Univ.and masters from Univ. of La VErne, ca

Awards: awarded the Bank of America award in my high school senior year for music

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