this is interesting.  for the last couple years i would wake up in the morning and hum a tune. some standard i know or was working on, something else, whatever.  then i'd go sit down at the piano and figure out what key i was humming in and work the tune out in that key, regardless of what it was.  it's really helped my 12 key on the fly transposition skills, that's for sure!

but the problem, or side effect of this, has been interesting.  now when i go to the piano in the morning, most of the time i'm humming the tune in the "right" key. like, 19 out of 20 times.

what's up with that?  i couldn't for the life of me tell you what notes i'm humming, but they are syncing up with the key i normally play the tune in.
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the brain is an amazingly accurate recording device!  but it does not care about the names of the notes unless you train it to, i guess...
i've worked with many singers over the years that can sing their starting pitches for tunes without knowing what pitch or key it is.  i really think "perfect pitch" is nothing more than memory and/or a product of awareness.  i was told i had perfect pitch when i was a teenager.  the teacher made a big deal out  of it, but i just thought everyone remembered the tones.  (i also remember number sequences without really trying)  anyway, after people found out about this supposedly mysterious gift of mine, they would crush hands full of keys on the piano and have me name all the notes they were playing, this of course, further developed my hearing and discrimination.  i then would practice this because i did not want to fail for my friends.

now that i am 50 and not playing much, my ears play tricks on me a bit and i sometimes get things wrong...interesting...i heard david foster say he began losing his perfect pitch at age 50....hmmmmm...i also sometimes cannot remember why i've gone to the store:)
scot, i have been noticing the same thing with myself. when i have a tune in my head, it's usually in the "right" key when i play it on the piano. but so far, it's an unconscious thing. when i try to guess a pitch deliberately, it's pretty much a 1 out of 12 chance i'll get it right.
i read somewhere that dogs can be trained to respond discriminately to different pitches - like say, sit when he hears a c or bark when he hears an a or whatever and of course at a frequency we humans cannot hear.  i've not tried this, but it certainly sheds light on the subject:)
from my modest experience on music, i've played several kind of music, from moroccan, algerain, afrcian, oriental, turkish, balkan and jazz, so mostly i find that musician who play woodwinds, violin, luth, brass, guitar and bass have better perfect tuning then pianists....i don't know why!!? but that's what i encountered, it would be good to know how we develop a perfect pitch but i think we have 1/100 musicians in the world who has the perfect pitch.

it happen to me to sing in my head some jazz tunes or so then when i go to the piano say 5/10 i find my sing on the key of eb, it sound like my soul is bing tuned there hahaha!  


let me discuss this more -forgive if i'm out of topic scott ;-)-
there is something else very strange too, i think 7 might share the same knowledge, the say that indian classical music, everybody has a key or is being tuned to a key witch means that somebody ma bey attractive to the key of e minor or major than to the key of c and so on....here in morocco we do have trance music, gnawa music have their tuned to a key witch means that somebody ma bey attractive to the key of e minor or major than to the key of c and so on....here in morocco we do have trance music, gnawa music have their mystic cults where the music can make trance to anybody who's sensitive to some tonalities and to some produced sounds too! re cults where the music can make trance to anybody who's sensitive to some tonalities and to some produced sounds too!
the structure of the inner ear changes over time, and supposedly your perception of pitch changes by at least half a step or so.  that could account for some of it?
also, unless you have "amusica" (the disorder where music sounds like noise), even most people who are labeled as tone deaf can be trained to match and recognize pitch.
ok, i have some more thoughts on this.

my sonicare toothbrush hums in the key of c and my bathroom fan is bb above middle c.

i think these two tones are getting burned into my brain and because of this i'm picking notes in tunes that i somehow know from the bathroom noises.

so, tomorrow i'll get up and play music before taking a shower or brushing my teeth and then i'll see if i can pick out the right notes to a tune.  experimentation.  yes.
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