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Muscular hearing
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lenasv.
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September 9, 2011 - 5:43 am
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There is much talk about absolute pitch and relative pitch. The absolute, where you can identify directly one note based on just hearing it on any instrument, while relative hearing is more about identifying the note with the help of having identified nearby notes.

I am going to discuss another phenomenon that seems to be my case more than absolute or relative, and since I have not heard of it before, I will name it simply

Muscular Pitch.

If I hear a note played  *on violin* I can without making any sound or trying, IF and ONLY IF I have the violin in the hand supported normally on the left shoulder, instantly find the position of the played note (without any trials, the finger goes directly to the correct place). This is obviously some kind of muscular hearing, because its not my ear or my brain who recognizes the note, but the muscles. And I really have to hold the violin in normal position.

Can anybody explain this phenomenon and how to take advantage of it? (I am not a person with good intonation in general.)

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David Burns
Winfield, Missouri
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September 9, 2011 - 6:16 am
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I am jealous! I am very weak at playing by ear. I can get close, usually one or two notes high. And then I will play it as sharp when it is supposed to be natural, play it as natural when it should be flat. I am getting better at it though.

 

You could learn songs this way, especially if you can slow the music down and play one note behind the music. Maybe.

 

Dave

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Oliver
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September 9, 2011 - 8:42 am
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What is it that sends the correct information to your muscles?  Muscles have no memory. 

I am not typing right now because my fingers remember the keyboard. 

coffee2

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suresh
Tuticorin, India
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September 9, 2011 - 11:20 am
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We see, hear and feel as these activities are conveyed to the brain through the nerves.

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it ..(William Shakespeare in Twelfth Night)

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myguitarnow
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September 9, 2011 - 12:36 pm
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Muscular memory isn't anything new. It's how many guitar players play. Jimi Hendrix actually talked about this way back when. When you''re hearing the tones of the music in your head your hands just go in the right place because of knowing your hand positions well.

I would say keep practicing all the hand positions on the violin. Don't get stuck in first position because then your muscular memory is being very limited. Yes, you can compare it to typing on a keyboard too. Once you learn to type well, your fingers just flow over the right letter without thinking about it. It's all about the correct position.

 

Dave, you made a great comment…If you have the tools to slow down music while keeping the same pitch, it's a great way to learn a song by ear.

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David Burns
Winfield, Missouri
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September 9, 2011 - 10:27 pm
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That is if you are not tone hearing impaired! I used to be tone deaf, but I am working on it!

 

Dave

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 9, 2011 - 11:25 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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lenasv. said:

Muscular Pitch.

If I hear a note played  *on violin* I can without making any sound or trying, IF and ONLY IF I have the violin in the hand supported normally on the left shoulder, instantly find the position of the played note (without any trials, the finger goes directly to the correct place). This is obviously some kind of muscular hearing, because its not my ear or my brain who recognizes the note, but the muscles. And I really have to hold the violin in normal position.

I have the same capability though I don't need to have the violin in my hand to feel the note in my fingers when I hear them.

First of all, obviously our fingers can't hear or memorize anything. Your violin gets the same note every time your muscles depress the string at same spot on a violin. So when your ears hear a note combined with a muscle movement and feeling in the nerve endings and finger tips, your brain memorizes that connection. (this is my best guess)

Can anybody explain this phenomenon and how to take advantage of it? (I am not a person with good intonation in general.)

Your intonation is relatively good Lena. Everyone plays out of tune. Play a slow scale, record and listen to it and tell me if you still think you have bad intonation.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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