categorical perception training

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Axeman
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Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 4:20 pm
Location: New Zealand

categorical perception training

Postby Axeman » Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:44 am

Hi all,
Still no life on this forum I see.
I was re-reading the research by Chris. Here is a thought that I am wondering may provide the function of a pitch category.
If the training was to include cadences that have a 'bottle neck' effect on certain pitches this may be the context for meaningful choices between possible answers. Bottle neck = natural tendency of notes to rise or fall in order to resolve in a particular cadence.
Let me suggest for e.g.;
:D A perfect cadence in C major or minor i.e. G7 to C or Cminor (V-I or V-i)
:) The note category =C
:P Melody is given (instrument different to accompanying chord and may include enviro sounds).
:oops: Accompanying chord is given i.e G7 underneath second to last note say B which may be sustained
8) The natural tendency in the known cadence (i.e. perfect) is for B to Rise to C
:lol: Chord and (single) melody note answers are provided that contain the note C (Same within category samples) with only one being correct within the context of a Perfect cadence i.e. C major or minor triad (this may be better than a Jazzier chord like Cmajor7 where the B would stay put)
:roll: E.g. final chord choices C triads, D7, FMajor, Bb9 and many others...

Will this provide a meaning for pitch categories?

Other cadences could be sought for similar 'bottle neck' effects. E.g. V-bVI interrupted cadence B again rises to C more readily than falling to G.

The current C melody in APA has a cadence with the D falling to C. Not as much of a bottle neck but the obvious direction of the melody is leading to C.
A superficial listening on my guitar makes it very obvious that the triads are the best choice for the resolution but you can still hear the C resolve in say a D7 chord but because of its position in the chord or its relationships to the other notes it is an obvious pulling away from a perfect cadence.

What do you think ladies and gents?

aruffo
Site Admin
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Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:09 pm
Location: Evanston, IL

Re: categorical perception training

Postby aruffo » Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:01 pm

(Well, admittedly, "life" here is deader than it used to be, but it's not a shambling zombie yet.)

What do you imagine that this would do, in the listener's brain? Why do you suspect this would be (more) meaningful? I'm not sure I follow, entirely, what you're suggesting, but my memory of that rehearsal for Frog and Toad, where I heard the tonic ring out so clearly as the foundation of the entire song (even when the A-flat wasn't being sounded directly), suggests that there's something to be said for the natural resolution you're alluding to.

Axeman
Posts: 151
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 4:20 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: categorical perception training

Postby Axeman » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:12 am

What do you imagine that this would do, in the listener's brain? Why do you suspect this would be (more) meaningful? I'm not sure I follow, entirely, what you're suggesting, but my memory of that rehearsal for Frog and Toad, where I heard the tonic ring out so clearly as the foundation of the entire song (even when the A-flat wasn't being sounded directly), suggests that there's something to be said for the natural resolution you're alluding to.


I am imagining that the expectation of the listener is to hear the resolution or flavor of the particular cadence. Even though the wrong chords contain the right melody note they are not the expected flavor if supported by the wrong chord.
In phase 17 I read:
Every perfect-pitch training system that's ever existed has operated just like this image. To train a student, the method offers an example tone T and asks students to identify unknown tones A, B, C, et cetera; in essence asking "is T the same as A or B?" But in judging similarity, a student will be paying attention to relationships, not attributes-- and that's relative pitch.

What the choices of non-cadential chords do is give examples of right fit (melodically) but wrong fit cadence-wise. The meaning is to do with the emotional effect of the cadence.
Its kind of like when you study intervals in isolation they don't necessarily translate to better musicianship. This is because they can have different emotional effect used in different situations. E.g. The melody CEGECFE up and back through the C chord, a jump to F then down to E a half step (the C to a F is a perfect 4th) The perfect fourth is different in effect to the one from G to C in this melody CEGC'AGC' (C' is the next octave up). This is because of the context and key and the way the degrees have tendencies to resolve in various directions depending on the circumstance.

I realize though that the characteristics (emotional effects) of cadences will be the same in different keys i.e. C# to D in a A7 to D cadence is the same as B to C above just higher in frequency. But maybe this could be offset by using particularly obvious and consistent environmental sounds as melody notes.

aruffo
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Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:09 pm
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Re: categorical perception training

Postby aruffo » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:48 am

I'm still figuring out exactly what you mean… and while I do, let me post a brief summary of what I see as the target parallel in language.

It's been a few years now since I connected the dots between absolute pitch and phonemic awareness. People do not achieve phonemic awareness unless they become literate; that is, they need to become aware that syllables are sequences of letters—and, furthermore, they need to know what letters to expect. So it isn't enough to "learn the ABC's". We also need to combine that knowledge with practice of spelling (i.e., decoding) words that we see and hear. Once we do that, then we become able to recognize the phonemic sounds when we hear them.


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