Amusia

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What they have in common M. Jackson, Mozart and Stevie Wonder? The answer is very simple: an High Level of musical intelligence. According to Gardner studies musical capacities are related with limbic system and are localized in right hemisphere of the brain, granting the ability to compose/write songs or lead a choir. In simple words the people that have musical intelligence love music, sound and rhytm, they can understands relationship between sound and feeling or recognition of tonal and rhythmic pattern. For example they are able to recognize the intervals between notes in terms of tones and semi tones, or recognize very easily the melody of musical patters.

Three components or ability are involved in musical intelligence, know as:

  1. Sense of rhytm
  2. Relative pitch
  3. Absolute pitch

The first is very common, all of us have the ability to follow BPM and I’t isn’t innate.

The second, is the ability of a person to identify or re-create a given musical note by comparing it to a reference note and identifying the interval between those two notes. Relative pitch is very common among musicians, in fact it is used by singer to correctly sing a melody.  Relative pitch can be developed through ear training. It consist in a series of exercises that developed our musical ear, and ensure the sensitivity to sound, the ability to recognize notes, chords, melody, intervals, time and rhythm.

  • The activities that take place during the exercises include the identification of notes by ear, their transcription, reproduction on instrument or singing, and – (in students at an advanced stage) – improvisation.

  Singing exercises are absolutely part of the EAR training, a singer is out   of tune because he has an untrained ear.

What are the advantages of the EAR training?

  • Compose music
  • Tune an instrument
  • Being in tune
  • Transcribe chords and melodies by ear
  • Improvise
  • Enhancing capacity rhythmic
  • Playing with other musicians

 

Absolute pitch, or perfect pitch, unlike the relative pitch is a rare auditory phenomenon that occurs 1 person in every 10.000. According to some scientific studies every person in childhood but as unable to train this ability, we lose it.

Generally absolute pitch allows:

  1. Identify the notes (e.G. A, B, C♯) played on various instruments.
  2. Identify at the first listening all the notes that formed chords, scales and musical pattern.
  3. Recognize the key of a particular musical track.
  4. Reproduce a piece of tonal music in the correct key days after hearing it.
  5. Accurately sing a named pitch.

                                       Amusia

Amusia is a musical disorder that appears  as a defect in musical memory and recognition. Amusia can be divide in: acquired amusia, which occurs as a result of brain damage, and congenital amusia, which affects the 4% of population, results from a music processing anomaly present since birth. It can be defined as a sort of repulsion towards music.

In fact, an “amusic” is not able to understand when is out of tune and when not. In severe cases, amusics are not able to hear the music or find it irritating and unpleasant. Everything flows in an inability to sing, wistle, play an instrument and write musical notation.

Anyway, amusia can be linked with stroke, in fact, the 60% of the stroke patients, have a principle of acquired amusia, caused by a lesion of frontal, temporal lobes and auditory cortex. Other studies have discovered how amusia is related with an apparatus malfunction of the limbic system, because the music does’t cause any emotional response in patient affect by acquired amusia or congenital amusia.

MATTEO MAIRA

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