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Author Topic: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?  (Read 21280 times)

Offline neilep

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Dearest Whistlers and other fine English artists,

As a sheepy I of course get wolf-whsitled all the time by fine filly's and hoards of admiring females !...It's a burden I know but ..well..it comes with celebrity !


Look, here's Archibald Reg Arbuthnot Esq



Archibald Reg Arbuthnot Esq Whistling Just Years Ago When The World Was Black & White


Archy is one of the original Whistlers. He whistled in a time when the world was black and white !..so..ewe can see that whistling has been around for at least 60 years !....and that's a long time !


However, what ewe can't tell is the wonderful melody that Archy is whistling !..my my...it's quite a tune !



So, how come we can whistle in tune ?...I realise that there are peeps who can't whistle or are terrible at whistling but how do we intuitively know the  "notes" that create the sound we want when whistling ?


phweeeee phweee-eeeeeeee !!

Hugs and shmishes



mwah mwah mwah


neil
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« Last Edit: 06/03/2012 13:57:41 by neilep »


 

Offline Gordian Knot

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #1 on: 06/03/2012 16:02:07 »
Well the obvious answer (which means probably wrong) is that we do not know the notes. Our brain doesn't think, "Hey that was an A+ followed by a C". Rather we are mimicking the sounds, just as we would attempt to mimic any other sound, such as a bird call.
 

Offline graham.d

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #2 on: 06/03/2012 16:15:33 »
As a non-whistler and (as everyone else thinks) a non-singer, I cannot speak especially from personal experience. However, even though I'm told my singing is not pleasant, I have got a musical ear and can remember tunes and then sing them at least roughly in tune. Even I don't like the results.

I think most people have the capacity to remember music, especially at an early age, and it is interesting that this capacity is one that lasts into old age so that even people with quite severe dementia can often sing along with a melody. So musical memory is the first requirement. If you have any sort of musical ear so that you can hear if a note is in tune (even if roughly) then you can ultimately train your voice (or whistle) to match a tune being played or a remembered tune. Unless you have absolute pitch you may only remember the relative note changes rather than the absolute frequencies; absolute pitch maybe a genetic trait or a learnt ability, or maybe a bit of both, I'm not sure.

So like any other skill, how good you are is a combination of genetics and learning. When you get good at it you can hear a note and then sing or whistle it because you can tell, in advance, how to set your voice (or shape your lips) to get close to the note you want to hit. Any adjustment for precision may not be noticeable or may even be utilsed for effect (as in a vibrato).
 

Offline Geezer

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #3 on: 06/03/2012 18:23:43 »
You can unlearn it too.
 
I used to be able to do a really good owl hooting impersonation by cupping my hands and blowing between my thumbs, but I can't do it anymore.
 
I realize this has absolutely nothing to do with the topic, but I thought this fascinating fact should be recorded for scientific posterior.
 

Offline CZARCAR

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #4 on: 06/03/2012 19:50:49 »
tone deaflessness? Q= can we whistle a perfect C or is it just "close enuff"? Q= is a bitchpipe required to tune the whistle?
 

Offline Geezer

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #5 on: 06/03/2012 21:51:48 »
Q= is a bitchpipe required to tune the whistle?

I refuse to answer that on the grounds that it might incriminate me.
 

Offline neilep

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #6 on: 07/03/2012 04:54:48 »
Well the obvious answer (which means probably wrong) is that we do not know the notes. Our brain doesn't think, "Hey that was an A+ followed by a C". Rather we are mimicking the sounds, just as we would attempt to mimic any other sound, such as a bird call.

Thanks Gordy !...Then this leads me to wonder how we are able to mimic in tune ?...I know I can replicate the tune in my mind but the transference from mind to action is fascinating !
 

Offline neilep

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #7 on: 07/03/2012 04:57:30 »
As a non-whistler and (as everyone else thinks) a non-singer, I cannot speak especially from personal experience. However, even though I'm told my singing is not pleasant, I have got a musical ear and can remember tunes and then sing them at least roughly in tune. Even I don't like the results.

I think most people have the capacity to remember music, especially at an early age, and it is interesting that this capacity is one that lasts into old age so that even people with quite severe dementia can often sing along with a melody. So musical memory is the first requirement. If you have any sort of musical ear so that you can hear if a note is in tune (even if roughly) then you can ultimately train your voice (or whistle) to match a tune being played or a remembered tune. Unless you have absolute pitch you may only remember the relative note changes rather than the absolute frequencies; absolute pitch maybe a genetic trait or a learnt ability, or maybe a bit of both, I'm not sure.

So like any other skill, how good you are is a combination of genetics and learning. When you get good at it you can hear a note and then sing or whistle it because you can tell, in advance, how to set your voice (or shape your lips) to get close to the note you want to hit. Any adjustment for precision may not be noticeable or may even be utilsed for effect (as in a vibrato).

Thank you Graham. great stuff !... i think you should Youtube your singing and let us be the judge too. Thanks for your fascinating comments .
 

Offline neilep

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #8 on: 07/03/2012 04:59:04 »
You can unlearn it too.
 
I used to be able to do a really good owl hooting impersonation by cupping my hands and blowing between my thumbs, but I can't do it anymore.
 
I realize this has absolutely nothing to do with the topic, but I thought this fascinating fact should be recorded for scientific posterior.

What does it sound like now ?..An owl farting ?  ;D  Consider it archived for all time !





« Last Edit: 07/03/2012 05:05:28 by neilep »
 

Offline neilep

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #9 on: 07/03/2012 05:00:20 »
tone deaflessness? Q= can we whistle a perfect C or is it just "close enuff"? Q= is a bitchpipe required to tune the whistle?

I have one of those electronic musical tuners things....I will empirically study this and report back !
 

Offline neilep

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #10 on: 07/03/2012 05:01:09 »
Q= is a bitchpipe required to tune the whistle?

I refuse to answer that on the grounds that it might incriminate me.

There's nowt wrong with a bit of incrimination !..It's character building !
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #11 on: 07/03/2012 14:41:14 »
For some strange reason, 'er indoors will s i n g along (I use the term 'sing' so loose, its falling apart) to something being played on the radio. Not only is she totally out of tune, but she also gets the words all wrong.

Its a bit like singing along to 'My Old Man's a Dustman' with the words to 'The Lambeth Walk' and 'How much is that Doggy in the Window' all jumbled together to the tune of 'Hearts of Oak' in "A" flat major, "B" sharp and "D" minor. Its enough to make you wish you were deaf.

So I naturally ask "Can you whistle?" I'm afraid the answer to that is an emphatic "NO". Any such attempt end's up going all over the place. I'm not sure which is worse.

Got any ear plugs anybody?
 

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #12 on: 07/03/2012 14:46:45 »
This fella was a great whistler:

 

Offline Gordian Knot

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #13 on: 07/03/2012 15:44:58 »
You haven't heard whistling until you've heard this guy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7aSTOUMYWg
 

Offline Gordian Knot

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #14 on: 07/03/2012 15:52:45 »

Thanks Gordy !...Then this leads me to wonder how we are able to mimic in tune ?...I know I can replicate the tune in my mind but the transference from mind to action is fascinating !

The REAL question is does one do it of one's own free will!  ;)
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #15 on: 07/03/2012 16:10:36 »
You haven't heard whistling until you've heard this guy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7aSTOUMYWg

Good grief! Roger Whittaker, I remember him, an old mate of mine could whistle just like him. I tried but just got a hernia in my tongue.
 

Offline Geezer

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #16 on: 08/03/2012 02:59:06 »

What does it sound like now ?..An owl farting ?


More like "le canard aux rupture"
 

Offline neilep

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #17 on: 08/03/2012 04:55:23 »
For some strange reason, 'er indoors will s i n g along (I use the term 'sing' so loose, its falling apart) to something being played on the radio. Not only is she totally out of tune, but she also gets the words all wrong.

Its a bit like singing along to 'My Old Man's a Dustman' with the words to 'The Lambeth Walk' and 'How much is that Doggy in the Window' all jumbled together to the tune of 'Hearts of Oak' in "A" flat major, "B" sharp and "D" minor. Its enough to make you wish you were deaf.

So I naturally ask "Can you whistle?" I'm afraid the answer to that is an emphatic "NO". Any such attempt end's up going all over the place. I'm not sure which is worse.

Got any ear plugs anybody?

Your wifey is to whistling like my wifey is to cooking !....of course when I say " cooking"........it's more like experimentation !
 

Offline neilep

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #18 on: 08/03/2012 05:08:42 »

Thanks Gordy !...Then this leads me to wonder how we are able to mimic in tune ?...I know I can replicate the tune in my mind but the transference from mind to action is fascinating !

The REAL question is does one do it of one's own free will!  ;)

Uh oh !!...DOH !! ..Free will ?....someone should start a thread about that ?  ::)
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #19 on: 08/03/2012 07:41:31 »
..Free will ?....someone should start a thread about that ?  ::)

Never mind a thread, I've hit on the idea of a film. Something about a captive big fish or whale named Richard, set free by some freckle faced little pain in the *^~$.

I'l call the film 'Free Dicky'.

Or maybe the whale should have another name more befitting a marine giant, like 'Zing'. Anyone got any better suggestions?
 

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #20 on: 08/03/2012 09:39:08 »
Are ewe whistling a happy tune sheepy?




Where did it go? who nicked it? C'mon, own up, tea leaf!

Right, I've put another one in. I'll be watching it this time, so keep your thieving mits off it!
« Last Edit: 09/03/2012 11:17:03 by Don_1 »
 

Offline Gordian Knot

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #21 on: 08/03/2012 14:13:10 »
I had no idea you were so out of focus, Sheepy! You should get this looked into.
 

Offline demografx

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #22 on: 08/03/2012 14:31:45 »
Dearest Whistlers and other fine English artists,

As a sheepy I of course get wolf-whsitled all the time by fine filly's and hoards of admiring females !...It's a burden I know but ..well..it comes with celebrity !


Look, here's Archibald Reg Arbuthnot Esq



Archibald Reg Arbuthnot Esq Whistling Just Years Ago When The World Was Black & White


Archy is one of the original Whistlers. He whistled in a time when the world was black and white !..so..ewe can see that whistling has been around for at least 60 years !....and that's a long time !


However, what ewe can't tell is the wonderful melody that Archy is whistling !..my my...it's quite a tune !



So, how come we can whistle in tune ?...I realise that there are peeps who can't whistle or are terrible at whistling but how do we intuitively know the  "notes" that create the sound we want when whistling ?


phweeeee phweee-eeeeeeee !!

Hugs and shmishes



mwah mwah mwah


neil
A Librarian Should Not Whistle While They Work
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Neil, I love the way u take an idea and run with it!

After a tiring game in the rain a sheepy referee likes to wet his whistle.

« Last Edit: 08/03/2012 14:41:03 by demografx »
 

Offline neilep

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #23 on: 08/03/2012 21:50:10 »
..Free will ?....someone should start a thread about that ?  ::)

Never mind a thread, I've hit on the idea of a film. Something about a captive big fish or whale named Richard, set free by some freckle faced little pain in the *^~$.

I'l call the film 'Free Dicky'.

Or maybe the whale should have another name more befitting a marine giant, like 'Zing'. Anyone got any better suggestions?
Ewe could do a Braveheartesque style film with the protagonist in the film played by Mel Gibson and call it Free Dom ! *a bit loose eh ?*
 

Offline neilep

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #24 on: 08/03/2012 21:52:02 »
Are ewe whistling a happy tune sheepy?




lol...it IS a beautiful day ! Is there a big wave coming ?...good job I'm a natural flotation device !
 

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Re: How Is It That We Can Intuitively Whistle In Tune ?
« Reply #24 on: 08/03/2012 21:52:02 »

 

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