Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tones and Talking

So far removed from singing we have forgotten that voices are music.

Recognizing an unnaturally high-pitched voice is familiar to anyone who has lived with a person who could not control their muscle tone, or someone who is tense if not downright angry all the time.

But we are so far removed from the center of our voices, especially now that we text all the time (at least some of us do), that making this analogy have meaning in terms of an instrument is an uphill battle.

Pitch is not abstract.  It is always related to some identifiable source in nature or in the mechanized universe, even if "only" an imagined source like planetary rotation.

The piano talks.  Simple.  At least it used to before pianists stopped enjoying that feature of its mechanism and began training all their fingers to be equally muscle-bound, and demanding that all keys, white and black, be correspondingly interchangeable.