Interesting Musical Tests

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I can't remember where I found these fascinating musical tests. It was probably from one of Joe Carter's long posts on random things. One measures how fine-tuned your tone recognition is. Another is about remembering a rhythmic pattern and recognizing whether a second pattern is the same one, and a third does a similar thing for a short passage whose melody or harmony may or may not have changed.

It was last week sometime, and I didn't record my scores. I was definitely above average on the pitch discrimination test, but I don't think I could be a piano tuner without a tuning fork, because it doesn't measure perfect pitch, just relative pitch. I couldn't hope to tell you what note any pitch is without a piano in front of me. I did it outside on the back porch while the kids were vying for my attention, and I still got about average to a little above average on the rhythmic and harmonic/melodic patterns, so I'd like to think I'd do better when undistracted and in a quiet place. This is something of a good sign given how little time I've had for continuing my musical skills in terms of actually producing music of my own, although I think listening to progressive rock ought to help a little


Maybe you can use a blunt object, hit it on a blackboard or a wall, and use that sound for concert A.

Seriously, J.S. Bach produced volumes of music while fathering eighteen kids and playing for demanding sponsors. While I don't know that you or I would be able to duplicate that feat, it does indicate that it has been done before.

Well, he did manage to get paid for it. If I were earning my income by it, I wouldn't have to do any of this dissertation, teaching, and grading stuff, and then maybe I'd have time for it. I'm not sure in his time that he would have actually done a lot of work raising his eighteen kids anyway.

Always hire a tuner with a tuning fork. I have perfect pitch, but occasionally (rarely) find myself a quarter tone out of pitch when asked to sing a note. Perfect pitch is not always consistantly perfect.

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