Minor cadences?

Comments and questions about Interval Loader.
Stefan
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Postby Stefan » Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:02 pm

well I guess it depends on it being less than ideal if you are doing your singing drills to improve your pitch awareness by focusing solely on the pitches you are singing and your voice or getting all caught up in weird pronunciation systems and how a 're' or 'mi' or 'fa' or w/e should be pronounced instead of focusing on the actual sonic waves that is sound, and your own auditory cognition...

Space
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Location: Cincinnati, OH

Postby Space » Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:51 pm

Agreed. I use solfege for singing but when using all of the eartraining programs I don't ID with verbal labels at all. I just recognize the sound quality and ID it by whatever physical means the program calls for.

Wade
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Postby Wade » Fri Apr 10, 2009 6:27 pm

To illustrate: When Interval Loader plays a major cadence followed by the tonic, the correct answer is to hit the space bar, or to click on the donut. So far, so good. When it plays a minor cadence followed by the resting tone of the corresponding minor scale, the correct answer is, again, to hit the space bar. Whereas under a Minor-La system one would press "D" (or click on the lock icon). The same difference applies, mutatis mutandis to the rest of the tones in minor.

It's irrelevant whether the system for identifying these tones uses verbal labels, or keyboard shortcuts, or icons. It could involve complicated dance steps accompanied by farts and Bushman clicking noises, and that wouldn't change the fact that two systems that identify minor tones differently are going to conflict.

We can argue til we're blue in the face about which of these systems is better from a music-theoretical standpoint. I'm told music pedagogues have been doing just that, and for a long time. More practically, it just so happens that the most comprehensive (I'm not the only one who thinks so: http://www.wehearandplay.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=593&start=0) program for relative pitch training uses one system and not the other. This has very definite consequences for how you interpret the tones; insofar as solfege syllables are supposed to help you orient yourself within a tonality, any confusion here would defeat their purpose. You can take my word for it, or you can try it for yourself at the risk of considerable confusion and wasted time.

Stefan
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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:29 pm

Postby Stefan » Fri Apr 10, 2009 6:33 pm

I always just ignore the cadences(at least in the sense that you are describing; that is attempting to relate them to some systematic approach to hearing them, rather than just hearing them) and listen to the individual or harmonic tones when they drop down, saves me alot of worrying about all of the irrelevant theories.

Wade
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Postby Wade » Fri Apr 10, 2009 6:48 pm

I'm guessing that you're not also using a program that's based on a different, contrary, theory, since it's only in that case that the developer's theoretical assumptions would become an issue.

Stefan
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Postby Stefan » Fri Apr 10, 2009 6:51 pm

Not at the moment, i am too busy doing my own musical training regime and making my own music.

TS
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Postby TS » Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:01 am

Wade wrote:To illustrate: When Interval Loader plays a major cadence followed by the tonic, the correct answer is to hit the space bar, or to click on the donut. So far, so good. When it plays a minor cadence followed by the resting tone of the corresponding minor scale, the correct answer is, again, to hit the space bar. Whereas under a Minor-La system one would press "D" (or click on the lock icon). The same difference applies, mutatis mutandis to the rest of the tones in minor.


But if you play a real instrument, like the piano, and you hear a C-minor or a C-major cadence, then you have to play C to get the tonic. If you're ever going to play real music then you will just have to learn to deal with different systems. I suspect that your difficulties with the other program are not due to conflict with IL, but instead are just indication that you haven't yet fully mastered the required skills.

You said that you found it difficult to hear "la" as a resting tone, and this implies that the program you're using is perhaps doing major exercises in the key of C and minor exercises in the key of A (or transposed equivalents), so it seems to me that the reason you're having trouble is simply because shifting from one tonic to another is not easy, for example in IL transposed tonics appear only at the more advanced levels.

Interval Loader was inspired by a program called Functional Ear Trainer. You can find it here http://www.miles.be/ . It's free to download. If the minor cadences (or anything else for that matter) are bothering you then I suggest you simply stop playing IL and replace it with FET, as it allows you to control the settings (such as cadences) to a greater degree. IL and FET are basically doing all the same things, so you wouldn't be missing out on anything (except automatically varying timbres perhaps).

I just tried the Audiation Assistant demo, and my first impression is that it combines all the best features of APA and Chordhopper into interval and scale degree training. The demo is here http://homepage.mac.com/brucedalby/FileSharing12.html

Space
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Location: Cincinnati, OH

Postby Space » Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:47 am

I'm gonna sound like a punk bringing this up yet again but you may have had trouble hearing La as a resting tone because you were first exposed to Do (and La as the 6th) as a resting tone and to the human ear a resting tone is a resting tone is a resting tone. You can weigh your head down trying to call it a million different things in all these different situations but in the end it's the same thing.

I don't see why audiation assistant doesn't offer the same flexibility you're wanting in IL. As far as Functional Eartrainer, I would recommend it as well. You can just set the thing on notes instead of solfege and use the solfege system you're working on.

I used FET to get to the point where I could ID any of the 12 scale degrees against both the I IV V and II V I cadences in both major and minor pretty much instantly (on the 'random key' setting). I think that's why I'm so passionate about this 'universal moveable Do' thing. Once your ear gets to a certain point in contextual eartraining you realize that in terms of their functional relationship to a tonal center all the sounds are 'the same' in all situations. There is an apparant difference at first because each scale/mode has a different intervallic content. This creates a different set of harmonic vibrations that seems to influence the sound of the scale degrees ever so slightly.

A good example I've noticed is the sound of 'La' in a major tonality vs the dorian mode. Because of the tritone between the m3rd degree and the 6th in the Dorian mode, La sounds a bit more 'wicked' in dorian as opposed to its 'prettier' manefestion in major. It's possible someone could be thrown off by this initially but it's just a matter of sorting out the difference between harmonic resonance between tones vs the position of tones in a tonal matrix.

Aka: the relationship of pitches to eachother vs the relationship of pitches to a tonal center.

All that being said I'm sorry this is creating such an irritable situation for you. I think FET would be your best bet.

Sprobace

Wade
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Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 3:25 pm

Postby Wade » Sat Apr 11, 2009 11:59 am

I'd forgotten about FET. That's a good suggestion. I'd used that for quite a while before I switched to Interval Loader, and had gotten to the point where I'd score 90%+ with 11 of the tones selected. Now that I think about it, I'd probably been getting more interference from that program than from Interval Loader. IIRC it has other options for identifying tones that I could try instead, along with the minor keys. The Advanced program looks like it overlaps in function with the later rounds of Interval Loader (though it's probably not as friendly).

As for Audiation Assistant, it doesn't offer any such options because it's very self-consciously the product of a particular, detailed, music-learning theory. I've looked through the book describing the theory, and it's weirdly dogmatic and rigid---which strikes me as kind of silly, but the materials are what they are.

I just worried that I might have to give up one program or the other, which would be too bad since Interval Loader is so nice to play, especially with the shortcuts. It's a small complaint, to be sure, but I hadn't expected to go into the topic at such length. Anyway, thanks for bearing with me.

Space
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Location: Cincinnati, OH

Postby Space » Sun Apr 12, 2009 1:20 am

You know I think you're fretting over the thing a bit too much anyway. Why not try ignoring any use of solfege syllables at all when playing either IL or FET? Simply focus on your familiarity with the sounds and ID them with the pictures.

Solfege syllables have helped me to have something to sing when practicing scales, etc but when listening to music the familiarity with the sounds is all that matters. I definitely agree with Chris's methodology of leaving the musical terminology out of the picture. While listening to music you don't have time to think verbal labels. In my own case, I am able to follow chord progressions and melodies often in real time because I don't think the verbal labels of what I'm hearing. Most often I picture the notes on the piano. When my ear is really 'on' it's like I have a player piano in my mind and it's playing the music I'm listening to :op

I checked out a description of Audiation assistant by the creator himself. Sounds kinda interesting. I'd have to work with it a bit to see what the hoopla is about but I'll have to wait for Monday to check the demo out.

Rob's Pace

aruffo
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Postby aruffo » Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:21 pm

My goodness.. I certainly wasn't aware of all this, to be sure.

What I find myself most curious about is the natural perception of la given the minor cadences. When I hear minor or major cadences I'm "tuned" directly to the same tonic. Are you saying that it's possible to train yourself to be tuned to the la instead, so that you actually feel la to be the tonic?

Wade
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Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 3:25 pm

Postby Wade » Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:36 pm

I guess so. When I first started singing back the minor-mode patterns in Audiation Assistant I kept thinking of Do as the resting tone and Ti as the leading tone, as in major. After a while I was able to think of La as the resting tone and Mi as the perfect fifth, those being the tones I was using to get my bearings.

I think I was wrong earlier about minor-La, and that the idea is to cultivate your awareness, not of how a tone functions within the mode (which I suppose works more or less the same with either system), but of *which* mode you're in at the moment.


Space
Posts: 178
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Location: Cincinnati, OH

Postby Space » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:12 am

Do I have to buy that book to get the explanation? I did some purusing and found some general information on Gordon's methods but no explanation of the reasoning behind the solfege system.

One thing I noticed is the stressing of the importance of 'audiation'. Personally, in my self studies over the years I've developed a relatively crisp internal representation of sound. One example I've mentioned before is that I'll be at Walmart or Meijer and I'm constantly hearing the various beeps from the check out counter. When I leave I find that those sounds remain like a replayable recording in my mind for 15mins or so.

I've also done a ridiculous amount of scalar sequence singing over the past two years or so. This has had a huge influence on my mind's impulse to create melodies spontaneously on its own. It's like I'm always improvising in my mind. I've almost always got a 'groove' flowing through me and I'm soloing over it.

If I get a particularly good melody in from my musical mind chatter I'll write it down. Seems to happen at work a lot so I've developed my own lil' musical shorthand to get it down quick.

I think the one thing that got me on the path toward good audiation was Burge's 'solo techniques' in his AP course. Then, Bruce Arnold recommends 'prehearing' pitches before singing them so I started doing that for everything I play and sing. Eventually I started attempting to practice things entirely in my mind which is challenging but a really good excercise.

My point of all this is that I may have unknowingly been using similar techniques as Gordon's in my scalar singing and 'inner hearing' practice for a number of years. I've just been using one Solfege system taking the chromatic scale to be one single tonal matrix with different scales being just different combinations of the 12 availabe degrees.

Sbrobace

TS
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Joined: Sun May 07, 2006 4:58 am

Postby TS » Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:13 am

aruffo wrote:My goodness.. I certainly wasn't aware of all this, to be sure.

What I find myself most curious about is the natural perception of la given the minor cadences. When I hear minor or major cadences I'm "tuned" directly to the same tonic. Are you saying that it's possible to train yourself to be tuned to the la instead, so that you actually feel la to be the tonic?


I don't think it's the way you hear that's shifting, I think it's only the labels that shift.

As I understand it, the other software uses only the white keys of the piano, and so whenever it plays a major cadence it does it in the key of C-major, and whenever it plays a minor cadence it does it in the key of A-minor. This leads to the fact that the tonic of a minor key is called 'A' or 'la', and the tonic of a major key is called 'C' or 'do'. So if you had a C-minor cadence and a C-major cadence, they would both orient you toward the same tonic, 'C', but that tonic would be labelled 'la' or 'do' depending on whether it is the tonic of a major or a minor key.


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