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Name that note
May 1, 2008 6:53 PM   Subscribe

Perfect Pitch is a neat little game that lets you test your pitch recognition abilities. Previously.
posted by owhydididoit (29 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
I would like to rock this game, but the truth is I never paid enough attention during my piano lessons.

That said, this seems like a great tool to teach tone recognition to a lazy ass like myself.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:36 PM on May 1, 2008


Fun! Though I can only play the easy mode, by singing "Do Re Mi" until I find the one that matches and then counting the keys.
posted by pravit at 7:39 PM on May 1, 2008


After the first one, isn't it really "relative pitch?"

Fun game, though. I had to force myself to stop.
posted by Miko at 7:40 PM on May 1, 2008 [6 favorites]


Ah, this takes me back to my visit to the local planetarium with my (at the time) girlfriend. She was so pleased that she scored "perfect pitch". And so disappointed when I did, too.

That should have told me something right there...
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:41 PM on May 1, 2008


I always have a hard time telling a fastball from a slider, so I doubt I'll do well on this.
posted by cerebus19 at 7:51 PM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Though I can only play the easy mode, by singing "Do Re Mi" until I find the one that matches and then counting the keys.

Actually, that's the core of ear training -- you don't learn to recognize specific pitches, but rather intervals between notes as well as intervals from any given note to the tonic ("do").

True perfect pitch is a extraordinarily rare (along the lines of being able to visually and instantly recognize and name thousands of different colors) and not necessarily "musical," because music is composed of relationships between notes.
posted by treepour at 7:52 PM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


There's a Williams Syndrome joke in extremely poor taste in here somewhere.

But we're still friends, right?
posted by supercres at 7:55 PM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Apparently I'm an idiot savant- either growing up with an out of tune piano or some kind of ear canal anomaly, on the hard level I'm consistently one half tone high- when it's C#, I hit D, when it's A I hit Bb, etc.

That would explain why my singing voice is so awful.
posted by hincandenza at 7:55 PM on May 1, 2008


Er, invert that; I meant that I'm one half-tone low, when it's A I hit G#. Although now that I know that's the case, I'm breezing through this.
posted by hincandenza at 8:01 PM on May 1, 2008


This is doable with relative pitch. Anyone truly lacking absolute pitch could still learn methods to ace the game (minus the first pitch). A good "perfect pitch" test might ask someone to sing pop songs from memory (my first recalled pitch being 'F' from "Smells Like Teen Spirit").
posted by Monstrous Moonshine at 8:22 PM on May 1, 2008


This is a relative pitch test, right? The perfect pitch part is only the first note?
or what Miko said.
posted by gt2 at 8:48 PM on May 1, 2008


Can someone explain why I'm totally competent at this game, yet can't sing worth shit?
posted by granted at 8:49 PM on May 1, 2008


I totally thought that it was a game where you had to recognize the pitch as in baseball pitch like a fastball, slider, curve, ect. Even their favicon looks exactly like the Detroit tigers logo. Oh and as for the game Im really bad. I think Im tone deaf.
posted by lilkeith07 at 8:50 PM on May 1, 2008


Never mind, I'm choking on Level 6.
posted by granted at 8:53 PM on May 1, 2008


At first I thought this was video of major league pitchers. But this is equally cool and way more useful to me, so... thanks, good look out.
posted by MNDZ at 8:55 PM on May 1, 2008


Can someone explain why I'm totally competent at this game, yet can't sing worth shit?

Singing's a physical skill, pitch a cognitive one using aural perception. It's one thing to hear and recognize a note, another to physically replicate it. It's like saying "why am I totally competent at reading a printed page, yet my handwriting sucks?"
posted by Miko at 9:06 PM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've heard that singers (and maybe wind instrumentalists) hear themselves differently than their audience do. Especially when they don't have a monitor. Does this affect their perception of the pitch they are singing? (I'd like an excuse for singing so badly)
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:43 PM on May 1, 2008


Especially when they don't have a monitor. Does this affect their perception of the pitch they are singing?

If the instrumentation is loud enough that a singer needs a monitor system to hear himself, and there is no monitor, naturally enough it can be difficult to impossible to sing well, and to sing in tune. If you can't hear yourself, you can't hear yourself. No mystery there.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:55 PM on May 1, 2008


But this game left out a crucial element: there should be an "ED NORTON!" button.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:57 PM on May 1, 2008


BrotherCaine:

Well, if you don't have a monitor, often you can't hear yourself sing at all, so your pitch will be bad. However, if you can hear yourself at all, you can hear your pitch fine. What changes is the timbre; the overtones are in a completely different balance "inside your head" and when you hear your voice back on a recording.

The classic trick to improve your pitching, a trick I use all the time and as recently as tonight when I had to sing harmony parts for a song I haven't sung in ten years, is to cover one of your ears to make your voice seem much louder.

Take heart if you're a bad singer - you have to keep working on it. I'm rehearsing for the 20th anniversary of my band, and I'm astonished to find that my voice is better than it ever was back in the day.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:09 PM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


I actually have perfect pitch, but I was never any good at piano, so I'm not doing that well at this game. if I could type in the note and whether it was below or above middle C, I would do a lot better. I should send this link to all the people who feel the need to "test" my perfect pitch abilities.

I think my pitch has remained relatively accurate over the years (just in reference to a comment on the previously thread), but lately I've noticed that my perception of lower notes is often flat. the way I hear those notes actually "changes" once contextual notes are introduced. I'm not sure if this is because my hearing is a little damaged from too many years of rock shows, or if I really can't hear those notes correctly.
posted by dropkick queen at 10:13 PM on May 1, 2008


This seems to test knowledge of the notes on a piano more than perfect pitch.
posted by anazgnos at 10:24 PM on May 1, 2008


I failed on the first note because I don't know anything about playing a piano. I might have been able to squeak by if the game played as advertised ("Name that note" and "test your pitch recognition") but instead it seems to be about pushing piano keys, which is a skill I lack utterly.

Ah well. You piano people have fun! Let me know if you beat the end boss!
posted by majick at 10:36 PM on May 1, 2008


dropkick queen: is your perception of lower notes something that has changed, or has it always been that way (maybe without your knowing it)? If the latter, you may just be reacting to scale stretching, which refers to the alteration of the tuning of notes in extremes of register to combat inharmonicity.
posted by invitapriore at 11:09 PM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Crap. That last link should actually point here.
posted by invitapriore at 11:10 PM on May 1, 2008


invitapriore: thanks for those links. actually, scale stretching sounds like a plausible explanation, because I can actually perceive the notes shifting up when I get more context, so it's not simply that I can't hear them. I guess the way to test would be to see if my perception of higher notes is systematically sharp (since it should probably apply to both ends of the scale, right?).

I don't know if it's always been that way. I first noticed the consistent lower pitch a few years ago while driving, and I thought it was because I just couldn't hear the notes that well over the ambient car noise. I've since experienced it while listening to music under more optimal circumstances.
posted by dropkick queen at 11:37 PM on May 1, 2008


i wish that the interface wasn't a piano. i play guitar, dammit.
posted by gnutron at 10:25 AM on May 2, 2008


Wow, I can't believe the people saying they can't use a piano keyboard. I'll give you a hint: If you're playing easy, the keyboard starts at C. The little black keys are sharps and flats. I don't play paino but I know what C looks (and sounds) like.
posted by hellphish at 11:25 AM on May 2, 2008


"Wow, I can't believe the people saying they can't use a piano keyboard"

What's so surprising about that? A piano isn't the only device used to create music, and plenty of people don't own them or have no exposure to them.

I learned what little I know about music, pitch, and harmony by writing to SID 6581 registers to define waveforms and envelopes, and later from playing with ProTracker. Neither one of those things involved a piano keyboard, which is something I neither looked at nor touched until many years later.

Thanks for the hint, though. I'll take that tidbit of information and see how well I can do from there!
posted by majick at 1:59 PM on May 2, 2008


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