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1

Generally, the pitch is fixed. However, if you are playing music for other instruments, there may be some justification for adjusting pitches. For example, guitar is usually written one octave higher than it is played (when written correctly, an 8 below the clef indicates the shift). However, its bass notes tend to have an "unmuddier" sound than that of ...


4

Standard sheet music specifies the octaves quite precisely. The lowest line in the treble clef, for example, is E4 (the E in the fourth octave): Ledger lines can also be added above and below the staves to extend their range, and you might sometimes see 8va written above or below certain notes to indicate that they should be played an octave higher or ...


1

Do this: have a seat at a piano or keyboard. With any group of 3 blacks, start at the right most of the 3. Calling that black key "3", play downward: "3 2 1 2 3 3 3" on those 3 blacks. You should recognize this as "Mary had a little lamb". Then, use the 3 whites surrounding the group of 2 blacks. Play the same pattern, "3 2 1 2 3 3 3". Same song, right? ...


-2

To find out, having people describe the experience is not the best way. Instead, find out literally, if your perception differs from most people. You mentioned using computer-generated tones and playing around. Use that, and make some experiments, e.g. two notes back to back and ask subjects to rate the pair as "related (harmonious)" or "unrelated". ...


-1

No, you are not tone-deaf. A4 and A5 are not similar in the sense that, say, a Toyota Corolla is similar to a Nissan Sunny. These are similar in the sense of, you can replace one by the other with little change. (That is sometimes possible in music with notes an octave apart, but not generally without problems.) Rather, they are compatible in the sense ...


47

Note: For the physics and neurophysiology covered in this answer I am going to be oversimplifying for brevity. They are not the "same" but they have the same pitch class. Notes that sound similar are said to have the same pitch chroma and the collection of all these notes are said to be in a pitch class. The octave, however, does differ in pitch height ...


1

Let me make three comments: 1) I'm not sure the podcast intended to mean that 440 and 880, played separately, would be reported by an average joe to sound the same. 2) Todd Wilcox's observation about performing this experiment with sine waves is apt. Probably better to use an organ stop or something. 3) Try this as an experiment that's sort of halfway ...


5

Recognizing notes as being "the same" when the sounds are different (two different frequencies produce two different sounds, which may be the same note) is part of cultural training. You can instantly recognize two bearded men as being both "men" even though one is a dark-skinned baldheaded quadruple amputee and the other is an albino giant, and both are ...


2

[Disclaimer: I'm a total musical layman, but with some physics background.] What topo morto said was most important: Two tones an octave apart sound similar because they function similarly in chords and harmonics. The reason is in the physics and physiology behind acoustic sensations. Wikipedia has a whole page about that. The general principle is that ...


9

I have been following guitar lessons in a small group for over a year. Recently, we've begun specific training to recognize intervals in scales (such as major third, perfect fifth, and evidently also the octave). The most basic exercise was that the teacher played the root note of the A myxolidian scale, and a random interval (which we had to guess and ...


2

I suppose comparing two notes in isolation is somewhat subjective, but what about a longer passage of music? A piece of music played one or more octaves above or below the original is likely to sound 'the same' as the original, i.e., in the same key. The same piece of music played at a different dominant frequency, but otherwise in sync with the original, ...


4

Simple way to demonstrate this to yourself: Get a piano or keyboard, and starting from any white note, count up 7 white keys. These two are an octave apart (so if you started from the 440Hz A, the higher one would be the 880Hz A) If you play each of those notes, you should be able to tell they get higher by increments (don't worry at this stage about the ...


4

The podcast used the term "the same note" loosely. Maybe too loosely. But I suspect you do really recognignise that a tune repeated an octave higher has a closer similarity to the original than one transposed by a different interval? This is what they were talking about.


14

They are both the same note, if note means letter name. They're both A, but 880 is an octave higher than 440. The 440 A has harmonics on most instruments, one of which being the second harmonic exactly an octave higher. In fact, on some instruments, this note is almost as loud as the fundamental, so the two can sound nearly the same. Most of us would hear ...


24

They're not the same sound, and depending on how specific you're being, they're not the same note (though they're both 'A', 440Hz is A4, 880 is A5). In most contexts, they'll be the same degree of the scale, which means they'll function similarly (but not the same) as part of chords and harmonies. You may be able to hear that two different A notes, played ...


3

Tuning a guitar lower than standard will certainly impart a darker, heavier sound. That's the reason many metal bands seem to employ various type drop tunings. A standard scale 6 string guitar (25-1/2" or 24-3/4") tuned down an octave (or tuned down to F# below the standard low E) would not be very practical to play in a typical guitar playing sort of ...


4

As you detune strings, they start to get "floppy" and the guitar becomes hard to play well. To prevent those problems, you can use thicker strings, a longer scale length, or both. At some point, the strings become so thick that you need to widen the nut slots or else the strings won't sit in them correctly. You also may find that you need a higher action and ...



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