Monday, October 09, 2006
Diana Deutsch, Woman of Song
via Crooked Timber and Cosmic Variance, an entire NPR program (RadioLab) on the relationship of music and language. The show is very entertaining, and the special effects do help illuminate some of the ideas discussed. I disagree about the Absolute Pitch worship, though. It's these ideas that get my music students all stressed because they don't have absolute pitch. Yes, some composers have had absolute pitch. But there are plenty who did not or do not. The same goes with performers. I'd much rather play with someone who has a good sense of relative pitch than absolute pitch any day (not that the two are exclusive). The tuning is much easier, and the possibilities of alternate tuning systems or transposition are opened up.