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#1129994 - 02/03/09 01:42 PM Remembering music(aural memory)
morrism3571 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/03/09
Posts: 4
Any tips beside repeated listening for memorizing sons. Not talking about lyrics but melody lines. It seems as though when trying to figure out a song(melody line) by ear I seem to sometime forget where the melodic phrase starts. I'm usually a 2 or 3 whole steps off sometimes. I had the same problem when I was taking singing lessons. My teacher told me to try and here the singers voice in my head. It seems to made an improvement. Anyone else have any idead. I have struggled for years to figure out simple 1 octave melodies for years. Now I'm finally to the point where I'm getting close

Piano & Music Accessories
#1129995 - 02/04/09 09:21 AM Re: Remembering music(aural memory)
Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/30/07
Posts: 290
Loc: Massachusetts
I had some training at the New England Conservatory in Boston, that has a method for exactly this, and the method is well-integrated into their entire program.

The "method" is jump-started by memorizing a series of short snippets of different pieces. You memorize, and eventually internalize, them by listening to recordings of them over and over. Eventually, you start singing along with the snippet, then you start to turn down the volume until it is just you singing. Singing back a melodic fragment is sort of like proof that you have internalized it. Then one takes it to their instrument, whichever one that might be.

Over time this becomes much easier to do, and it eventually gets to the point where you can hear something once and then immediately sing it back (perfectly).

In some ways, this is a mechanical process. It is a skill that can be practiced and developed. It doesn't happen automatically.


#1129996 - 02/06/09 10:39 PM Re: Remembering music(aural memory)
delirium Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/19/07
Posts: 23
transcribing is great for memorizing. You start with short phrases and after a while you can remember a whole lotta more.

#1129997 - 02/09/09 08:15 PM Re: Remembering music(aural memory)
monkmonk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/08/07
Posts: 84
Loc: Osaka, Japan
I feel like a broken record here, but you gotta put in the time for Ear Training. Guy's post sounds interesting. But you also have to build a solid foundation of key centered hearing.

#1129998 - 02/10/09 08:13 AM Re: Remembering music(aural memory)
Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/30/07
Posts: 290
Loc: Massachusetts
Monkmonk -- the basis of the New England Conservatory method is ear training at it's fundamental core. I remember someone asking Ran Blake (my instructor) "when are we going to learn intervals?" (thinking that was what ear training is all about). Ran answered, "oh, you mean the specific skill of recognizing certain intervals?"

The point being that there is, in fact, a foundation of training one's ear. That foundation, for me at least, directly led to improved recognition, recall and memorization (internalization), which then led to easier transcribing.

Imagine this scenario: that you know a piece of music so well, and perhaps a solo so well, that you can sing it back note-for-note. Writing it down note-for-note is almost a routine exercise at that point. But the real value came from internalizing that fragment.

When I took that course, it was only the introductory course taught through their extension division. The method, though, is fully integrated into the NEC curriculum. For me, it was pretty easy to see how useful it could be.

Here's an article from Ran Blake:
Primacy of the Ear


#1129999 - 02/10/09 08:39 AM Re: Remembering music(aural memory)
monkmonk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/08/07
Posts: 84
Loc: Osaka, Japan
Cool! \:\)
That sounds like a really great exercise. So it's taught as a foundation for other growth and development? I in no way doubt Ran Blake's approach. I only briefly met the man once, but he's inspired some people that I greatly admire.

It seems like you would also[/b] have to be doing some heavy key centered ear-training simultaneously to get the full benefit of that exercise.

Happy ear training!

#1130000 - 02/10/09 12:36 PM Re: Remembering music(aural memory)
pianojazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/06
Posts: 359
Loc: dearborn, mi
Another thing you can try is taking a simple song - one that you know the melody line by ear and playing the melody line in key of C. Then transpose it to another key - say up a 4th. Don't write it out, just do it by sound. As you get better at this, start taking more complex songs - songs that are not strictly diatonic.

#1130001 - 02/10/09 02:02 PM Re: Remembering music(aural memory)
Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/30/07
Posts: 290
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally posted by monkmonk:
So it's taught as a foundation for other growth and development?[/b]
Yeah -- I reread Primacy of the Ear this morning, and it outlines exactly what the foundation is all about, and it hints at where it goes from there.

I sort of did a gig with Ran a couple of years before I took his beginner's course (called Earobics). This was with a college jazz ensemble and Ran was hired as a guest artist (I was long out of college -- the band would hire "ringers" like me to fill out the band for concerts). We did a dress rehearsal where we were struggling through all sorts of charts of Ran's tunes. Ran kept saying to the director "play them the recording". It wasn't until I took his course that I understood why that was so important to him.

About a simple melody in all keys: my jazz mentor tells a story of one college where an ear training instructor would exempt any student from the first course if they could play "Happy Birthday" in all keys.



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