I've listened to the following octave displacements ("8D") that both professors intended to be easily identified, at least 20 times. But I still can't. How can I correct this hearing flaw?

Prof. R. Larry Todd (MPhil PhD Yale)'s 8D of Happy Birthday.

Prof. Craig Wright (MA PhD Harvard)'s of Mary Had a Little Lamb, at 5 mins. 10 s.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Todd Wilcox, Richard, Dom Aug 23 at 15:49

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    The answer is right there in the video: "It's very simple; you use any and all means necessary." – David Bowling Mar 28 '18 at 1:18
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    If you are trying to recognise it as Happy Birthday, you'll have to put the missing notes back in. It's not a particularly good example. I've downvoted as it's not a good question - we don't know what's going on in your mind. – Tim Mar 28 '18 at 4:59
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    If anyone's curious, his version was probably inspired by Stravinsky's own version. I wonder if you have better luck with this one? – Richard Mar 28 '18 at 10:53
  • @Richard Thanks. Yes, that is more intelligible. But the octave displacement sounds less extreme? – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Apr 21 '18 at 1:25

I don't think it's a hearing flaw that you can't recognise these versions as easily as the originals. After all, the original intervals are gone, and the original rhythms are gone. The only thing that remains intact is the scale degrees. So one suggestion would be to learn scale-degree functions, as suggested in this answer.

If you think you might have the aptitude, developing a sense of perfect pitch might also help, though I'm not sure how easy that is (there are plenty of other questions about perfect pitch on the site).

If it's genuinely your aim to recognise octave-displaced tunes, you might consider just playing a few simple tunes yourself, firstly with more mild octave displacements, gradually becoming more extreme. As well as attuning your ear to octave displacements, it could be a good exercise in navigating your instrument!

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