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Jun. 30th, 2009 @ 09:53 pm How do they do it?
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Date:July 1st, 2009 03:50 am (UTC)
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1. It's my own voice, I think... it's the sound I hear in my head when I sing a tone, even though I'm not singing it. Not sure why that is.

2. I'm not sure what you mean by this either - do you mean is it easier for me to answer "what note is this" than "what key is this song in"? I can always answer "what note is this" instantly, and I can always recognize what key a tune is in instantly. If I'm trying to remember the key of a piece without having hear it recently, I might struggle a little more - sometimes I transpose it in my head so I can sing along, and I think of it in that key, or I might have accompanied someone singing it in a different key more recently than hearing the original.

3. Mostly if I'm trying to get it accurate within a couple cents, I might sing a triad or a scale or something rather than a melody, but I suppose a melody would work.

4. I notice it when I'm sick or tired - I'm usually flat. I don't put too much stock in it, and once I notice that I'm doing it it pretty much corrects itself. And, if it doesn't, I just use a piano :)

5. Oh, yes. I notice it as soon as it happens, and I also notice it as soon as it fits into the next half-step. Then I feel like I can actually sing the notes again! It's hard to sing between half-steps, but trust me, I've sung in some choirs before where it's been very important that I sing in between pitches for just that very reason :)

6. That's an interesting question. I never thought about it in terms of recognition or memory, it always seems to me that it's a little bit of both. (I also don't feel like it's "real" perfect pitch unless the recall and identification of notes is instantaneous, but I might be alone in that belief.) I don't have to think about the characteristics of a note when I hear it, or spend time trying to decide between something. The best way I can describe it is to liken it to reading and writing - if you ask me to identify a printed letter on the page, I know what it is instantly because I know the alphabet, I don't have to think "now it has two lines going up and down and one going sideways, so it must be an H". I just know it's an H. And consequently, I don't think about the characteristics of the letter H when you tell me to write it - two lines up and down and one sideways - but I just write the letter, because the whole thing is what the letter looks like. I hope that makes some kind of sense :)