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#2005676 - 12/28/12 04:56 PM Perfect pitch piano cheating? Eh?  
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 504
justpin Offline
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justpin  Offline
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Holmes Chapel
I was listening to the newer Carly Comando pieces. Seeing if any were worth buying I can play Everyday yippie my thumbs appear to be considerably stronger than before though....

The thing is I saw this:

Quote

Carly Comando is a Brooklyn based musician and composer. In her own words: “I write all of my music off the top of my head but I couldn’t transcribe it if I tried. I am classically trained but I cheated my way through piano lessons because I have perfect pitch and play by ear.


How on earth do you cheat in a piano lesson? I don't want to cheat myself as I want to learn. But getting my head around the idea of cheating in a piano lesson? confused

My piano teachers watch my hands, even where I look so they can see I am reading the sheet music rather than memorising it. I can't get ANYTHING past them.

Is this what we might call a natural? Me if you called me tone deaf it would be insulting the tone deaf.

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#2005679 - 12/28/12 05:03 PM Re: Perfect pitch piano cheating? Eh? [Re: justpin]  
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JimF Offline
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Joined: Oct 2009
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south florida
Quote
.but I cheated my way through piano lessons because I have perfect pitch and play by ear.”..


I'd take that to mean she never really learned to read well and maybe also skipped a lot of theory or just pretended to understand it.


Tarantella, Pieczonka
Sonatine, No.2 Menuet - MRavel


Estonia L190 #7284[Linked Image][Linked Image]
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#2005898 - 12/29/12 05:50 AM Re: Perfect pitch piano cheating? Eh? [Re: JimF]  
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outo Offline
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Finland
It is actually common for children (some adults as well) to fake reading the score while they are actually playing by memory/ear or imitating what the teacher showed them. Some teachers don't test reading skills by making you play completely new material without showing how to do it first. I was never properly taught/made to read when I was a kid.

Of course at some point cheating becomes obvious, but it may take a long time and getting back to the basics of reading sucks...

Sometimes my teacher still thinks I am reading while actually I am not, I am just looking "through" the score. I don't see very well with my other glasses and I am often in a hurry to start playing when a bit nervous. So one day I just threw the sheet on the stand and started playing pretending to read and only noticed when she started laughing that the sheets were upside down smile

#2005943 - 12/29/12 09:33 AM Re: Perfect pitch piano cheating? Eh? [Re: justpin]  
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justpin Offline
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Holmes Chapel
Interesting that one can not read music and still compose!

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#2005976 - 12/29/12 11:14 AM Re: Perfect pitch piano cheating? Eh? [Re: justpin]  
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packa Offline
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Dallas, TX
Originally Posted by justpin
Interesting that one can not read music and still compose!

It's very common in pop genres, particularly when the composer is the original performer. In those cases, the recorded performance serves more to define the created work than a notated score. The world is full of cover bands who don't read much music but work from recordings and memories of heard performances.

This is not, of course, the norm in classical music. When someone says vaguely that they are "classically trained" but don't read music, I'm not sure what that could really mean beyond taking a few early lessons where they could bluff their way through. I also doubt that any of this has much to do with perfect pitch.


Paul Buchanan
Estonia L168 #1718
#2005980 - 12/29/12 11:24 AM Re: Perfect pitch piano cheating? Eh? [Re: justpin]  
Joined: May 2012
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Greener Offline

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Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014


Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,224
Toronto, Canada
Quote

Carly Comando is a Brooklyn based musician and composer. In her own words: “I write all of my music off the top of my head but I couldn’t transcribe it if I tried. I am classically trained but I cheated my way through piano lessons because I have perfect pitch and play by ear.


I see this term "Perfect Pitch" thrown around a lot, with many people claiming they possess it.

This is not to detract from Carly Comando's ability or anything ... I don't know anything about her. But, I find it unlikely that she has perfect pitch. Even if she does have it though, it is not this ability, of itself that will support this composition skill.

For one thing, perfect (or Absolute) pitch, is extremely rare. And, people that have it are likely to have it in varying degrees.

In most cases, (just my opinion) I think what is meant is rather a strong relative pitch. Then, I have no problem with accepting their ability to compose well without being able to read. But, how are they then going to write it down for anyone else?

"Absolute pitch is not a prerequisite for skilled musical performance or composition. Studies have shown both positive and negative impacts of AP on musically skilled tasks: musicians with absolute pitch tended to perform better on transcription when compared to musicians with similar onset and duration of musical training,[70] but musicians with absolute pitch also showed poorer abilities at recognizing musical intervals (for reference notes other than C).[71] No test yet exists for comprehensively and objectively measuring the influence of absolute pitch ability on musicianship.

Owing to uncertainty in the historical record, it is often impossible to determine whether notable composers and musicians had absolute pitch. Since absolute pitch is rare in European musical culture,[42] claims that any particular musician possessed it are difficult to evaluate. Among composers of the Baroque and Classical eras, evidence is available only for Mozart, who is documented to have demonstrated the ability at age 3.[72] Experts have only surmised that Beethoven had it, as indicated from some excerpts from his letters. By the 19th century, it became more common for the presence of absolute pitch to be recorded, identifying the ability to be present in musicians such as Camille Saint-Saëns and John Philip Sousa.[73]"

#2006016 - 12/29/12 12:27 PM Re: Perfect pitch piano cheating? Eh? [Re: outo]  
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joyoussong Offline
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Canada
Originally Posted by outo
It is actually common for children (some adults as well) to fake reading the score while they are actually playing by memory/ear or imitating what the teacher showed them. Some teachers don't test reading skills by making you play completely new material without showing how to do it first. I was never properly taught/made to read when I was a kid.

Of course at some point cheating becomes obvious, but it may take a long time and getting back to the basics of reading sucks...

Sometimes my teacher still thinks I am reading while actually I am not, I am just looking "through" the score. I don't see very well with my other glasses and I am often in a hurry to start playing when a bit nervous. So one day I just threw the sheet on the stand and started playing pretending to read and only noticed when she started laughing that the sheets were upside down smile


I think sometimes when people say they can't read music, they actually mean they can't sight-read - ability to do the first doesn't automatically translate into the second.

Outo, I laughed out loud at the upside down score! I could SO see this happening to me. I play from memory pretty much all the time. Some pieces with obvious patterns, I can at least keep track of where I am in the music, but most of the time I don't even pretend to look at the music anymore. I can read music just fine, I just can't read it & play it at the same time. I've never thought of it as 'cheating,' though - maybe that concept only arises in the context of taking exams - but rather as something I seriously need to work on. For some reason, I memorize really easily, & I think my teacher feels if I have this talent, why not make use of it? From my point of view, however, there are definite reasons why not: memory is fallible, especially at my age, & brain freezes are not uncommon.

I used to think as my reading improved (couldn't read LH at all when I started playing), my sight reading would catch up, but I think the gap is widening - as my ability to play more difficult material increases, the chance of being able to read even well-practiced music while I'm playing it decreases. I've been really trying to at least be able to find my place again in the music while I'm playing, & I think I'm getting a tiny better at that. But my teacher NEVER tests my reading skills - I think I'm going to ask him to do that, & to give me some guidance about improving my sight reading.


Carol
(Started playing July 2008)

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