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24

I wasn't there, but I would not find it completely out of the question. In every field of expertise, experts are capable of chunking information in ways that amateurs are not. An expert listener will not just hear a few hundred notes performed by several voices, they will hear harmonies, their relationships to each other, and rhythmical patterns. More ...


23

Check out Theta Music Trainer. Lots of games for ear training and music theory.


23

You need both ear training and music theory. Ear Training By "ear training", musicians mean the ability to identify musical intervals, chords, scales, etc. It means developing your relative pitch as opposed to perfect pitch. Perfect pitch is the ability to hear a tone and be able to identify what note it is ("is it a C# or a Bb?"). Relative pitch is the ...


23

The theremin is played by moving your hands near or far from two antennas (one for pitch, one for dynamics). On ondes Martenot, one can play either with a keyboard or by moving a ring along a ribbon. A washtub bass has you play with the tension you put on the string to change the pitch. Accordions, especially when equipped with buttons, have various ...


22

Neuroscience still can't explain some of the amazing things human brains can do. A person alive in our time has interesting and similar ability to mentally manage music in a way that suggests that some people might be wired for this sort of thing. The study detailed at http://www.radiolab.org/story/148670-4-track-mind/ showed that Bob Milne has the ability ...


21

It's worth noting that the Miserere is extremely repetitive. For example, this version is roughly 15 minutes long, but you get all the melodic and harmonic content in the first 2:45 except for the final cadence; everything after that is more verses set to the same music. Mozart still would have had to remember the varying text overlay as well as any ...


17

There are big differences between those two scales. The C major scale consists of the following notes: C D E F G A B The C minor scale consists of the following notes: C D Eb F G Ab Bb 3 of the 7 notes of the scale are different so it is not a small difference. It sounds to me like you need to take ear training classes. Ear training can make you ...


16

People have different ways of thinking about music, so don't beat yourself up too much. I suspect there are many wonderful musicians who can't play by ear or improvise. However, here's how I would start with the jingle bells problem. I'm assuming a piano here. Try to play Jingle Bells monophonically, in C major using only the white keys. Do it by trial and ...


16

I explain audiation to my students like this: Audiation is just like transcribing a given external melody or rhythm, only it happens internally. When you compose music, you are constantly audiating - your "inner ear" "hears" something, you write it down, you check it, and if it matches, you move on, if it doesn't, then you modify your understand of what it ...


16

I strongly suspect that practicing singing (I know, you said you can't, but trust me on this) will be the best possible thing for you. Unlike playing an instrument, singing removes all the extraneous technical baggage that sits between your mental musical intuition and the physical production of a musical sound, so its the most direct way to train your mind ...


16

The pentatonic scale is a great vehicle for moving outside. It has a very clear structure and sound which the listener is familiar with. Due to its simplicity and familiarity, you can get away with playing it, even if it does not fit the harmony in a traditional sense. The first thing I experimented with when I got into playing outside was "side-stepping", ...


16

Transcribing music is EXCELLENT ear training practice. I like to tell students that transcribing one song to completion is like an entire semester of ear training. Don’t just listen for intervals and notes, but form, where tension is created and released, see if you can name all the instruments, sounds, or stereo techniques (panning, phasing, etc). ...


15

If one watches those [insert nation here]'s Got Talent programmes, especially the audition phase, most people will be able to tell the difference between people who are good at [insert talent here] and those that are not. Having the performer's skill is not required in order to be a judge, you're only required to understand what the performer is trying to ...


15

Any tips on how to make it sick, so to speak, when trying to internalize the distance between notes? There are three ways you can easily get those intervals in your head. Sing Singing the intervals will make learning them much more easier and effective. Try this before doing your interval exercises: Pick one interval you are having troubles with. Play ...


13

I think what you're describing fits Perfect Pitch pretty neatly. Let me explain my reasoning behind that (and please, refute or correct me if I've misunderstood you) People without perfect pitch (like myself) are often capable of relative pitch, which allows them to identify the intervals between given tones, and pitch each note in a melody according to ...


13

No worries. Here are some things to help you get a better understanding of where your ears are at and how your brain processes it. DISCLAIMER: I am not a physician or am I qualified to recommend specialists. First thing you should do is visit an audiologist and get some testing done so that you have a base line reference to how you perceive sound vs. what ...


13

All documented resources I can find agree with the story. The Pope, instead of excommunicating Mozart, conferred on him the Order of the Golden Spur, a papal knighthood, for "contributing to the glory of the Church" through his transcription of the Miserere. The record of that award, as well as the minutes of that audience, are part of the archives of the ...


13

There aren't any special intervals you should focus on. All of them are equally important. What you can do is to find songs you know, with melodies you can sing, and see what kind of intervals they use. This way you'll remember what the intervals sound like. Now, no one can really suggest these kind of songs to you. They have to be songs you know and ...


13

This may be helpful. Start by learning to hear the difference between major and minor thirds. Find four songs, one that begins with a rising major third, one with a rising minor third, one with a falling major third and one with a falling minor third. Then you can match an interval that you hear with one of those. So, for example, "Dixieland" begins with a ...


12

I would say it sounds from your description that you do have perfect pitch as you can identify the pitch, and any transposition from the original, but you just can't articulate it. I think this is not uncommon. I know more people who can hear differences or similarities in music than are able to sing or play them without some "fumbling"


12

Ok, so if you're looking to take a song on guitar and work out the key the easiest way is to look at the chords being played, and work out the key they all relate to. If the song goes like this: C, F, G, C We can see the that these are the I, IV and V chords of C Major I, IV, V, I Or a different example: Dm, G7, C Is also C Major, with ii, V, I being ...


12

Well, I think the harmonica is a good one. The arrangement of notes is somewhat linear, but some notes are blown, others are drawn, and notes can be bent by different amounts using tongue/airway techniques. You need to practice producing single notes, not just blowing chords the whole time. You can experiment with different grips, and mouth shapes... ...


12

There are two components involved here. One is indeed ear training, and the other one is knowing your instrument well, i.e. being able to produce any melody as effortlessly as you do with your voice. And for this second part, you do not need to consciously know the intervals as long as you intuitively find the right notes on your instrument. But anyway, ...


11

The foundation of scales and relative tonality is the fact that all humans are innately able to detect intervals. We can detect an octave because an octave is two notes where one is twice the frequency of the other. Similarly, there are basic proportional relationships between the frequency of two notes that are fifth, or a third, or a whole step apart but ...


11

Actually, the benefits would far surpass that. They would include being able to increase your playing-by-ear, transposition, and even improv skills. I suppose theoretically, you could still play quite successfully by ear by knowing what Keys make up the IV chord in the key of F, even if you don't know the name of that chord. However, it just makes sense ...


10

I think what you are describing is known as "partial pitch". This is when the starting note of a well known or recent melody can be retained, or a note that's often played for tuning up purposes. I developed it myself for the pitch of my tuning fork, when after a couple of weeks practice I would not strike it all day, then test myself in the evening by ...


10

Eventually, if you keep practicing, all intervals will be obvious to you without having to relate to a song. At least by then it will not matter. I was taught (for some really tricky non-tonal sight singing ear training exercises) to use all tricks I could think of to find the next note. Suggested tricks included such as humming scale steps up or down to ...


10

I think you're too quick to dismiss the trombone. Although the slide is almost the definition of "linear", the relationship between slide positions and pitches is not quite as straightforward as it appears. The trombone is a great fit for your second criterion: intonation is very much something you have to think about. First you have to commit the slide ...


10

I recommend relating them to two stable intervals that you certainly already know: the perfect fifth and the perfect octave. When you hear a given interval, sing in your mind a perfect fifth from the original pitch. If the second pitch played is a half step "smaller" than the perfect fifth, you know it's a tritone; if it's a half step "larger," you know it'...


9

The terminology you're looking for would be Aural Training, Ear Training, or Aural Skills and there is a lot of literature on the subject. Since you seem to want to take a more academic approach to it, I can point you to this course offered online by Berklee College of Music. Also, this textbook seems to take a similar approach as you described. They begin ...


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