[Dixielandjazz] Perfect pitch

LARRY'S Signs and Large Format Printing sign.guy at charter.net
Mon Jun 6 12:03:14 PDT 2005

Bill when I was investigating perfect pitch I tried an experiment on myself.
I took a tape recorder and the first thing each morning before I had been
contaminated by sounds I would sing into the recorder several notes of a
tune and the old NBC tones.  I did that for a month.  Each day recording a
small part.  Then I played them back without stopping.  I found that Most of
the time they lined up with each other although I did have variations but
they were pretty close.
I think that playing woodwinds in their various pitches may confuse your
ability to name played notes.

I have noticed about the same thing with groups singing the National Anthem
and some other well known songs.

Your observation is really clever and right on.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bill Gunter" <jazzboard at hotmail.com>
To: <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Sunday, June 05, 2005 5:20 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Perfect pitch

> Hi all . . .
> Some talk recently about the "perfect pitch" phenomenon. Made me recall a
> column Dave Barry wrote some time ago which is related to this subject.
> Basically, Barry was fascinated by a chant at the basketball games. It
> that in Miami, whenever there was a home game and the opposing team
> attempted a basket and for some reason the ball missed the basket
> completely, the crowd would start chanting spontaneously and they would
> chant the words "air ball" over and over so it sounded like "air ball air
> ball air ball air ball air ball air ball air ball" etc.
> It was a sing-songy kind of chant and Barry noticed something he felt was
> unusual. It seemed to him that the crowd would ALWAYS do this chant in the
> same key (one flat). He took a tape recorder to a game and recorded the
> chant and when he got it home he played it and checked it against the
> on his piano. Behold . . . the notes were F and D (the key being D minor).
> On further checking he repeated the experiment and it was always the same!
> "Air ball air ball" was always chanted on the notes F and D!
> This chant was always spontaneous and there was no musical instrument in
> play to provide the pitch to sing this chant on. So why was it always in
> key of one flat? Does the crowd at a basketball game have "perfect pitch"
> what?
> I've tried the same experiment myself. Sometimes at a gig when the band is
> setting up I'll start chanting "air ball" to myself and then ask the piano
> player to hit a "F" - Virtually everytime it's "Bingo" -- I was right on
> note!  I've even impressed some others by announcing "Listen, I'll sing an
> "F" (and I go through the routine) and the piano player then verifies that
> was indeed singing an "F."
> To be honest, I've also missed a few of these experiments and hit some
> note. But that's probably because I was influenced by other axes tuning up
> or something. But most of the time I've been right on.
> Anyone care to comment about this . . . you might try the experiment
> yourself and see what happens.
> Respectfully submitted,
> Bill "air ball air ball air ball" Gunter
> jazzboard at hotmail.com
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