26 feb. 2008

I was playing "Our love is here to stay" today. I don't have the music to it so I just started on C and went from there. Anyway, I got stuck, I had the next pitch in my head but I didn't know where that pitch was on the instrument. I sang the pitch (luckily nobody was home) and immediately my fingers went to a certain position and I played the same note. It was a D, but I didn't think "D" and then look for a D. I simply played it and then took cognizance of what note it was. This seemed deeply weird to me, since I haven't played the clarinet since 1975 and am not a particularly gifted musician. We know that the brain can tell the vocal chords exactly how much to contract to hit a certain pitch--if you can match a pitch played on the piano with your voice. So can the brain tell the fingers and the mouth exactly the right configuration to hit the same note? Obviously a good musician proficient on the instrument, with perfect pitch, could do this every time. But a very unproficient musician?