Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Perfect Pitch?

Sunday night, Jennie asked me how good I was at hearing pitches and knowing what notes they were. She blew on an empty water bottle and I guessed that it might be an A. Donovan told her it was a B when she blew on it for him earlier in the day. Curious, I decided to go to the piano and play a B to see how close he was. Since he was still awake in his crib upstairs, I had to do it quietly.

He was right. It was B.

Last night I decided to test his ear when we were in the living room. I started off with something easy and played Middle C. "Hey, Donovan, what note is this?"


"How about this?"


"What's this one?"


He got all of them right. In case you think it was a lucky guess - I wondered the same thing - I banged an A# on the xylophone a few minutes later. He got that one too. When I played the piano, he was across the room, and when I played the xylophone, he had his back to me. There were no lucky guesses.

This morning I played my favorite key to see if the magic was still there in his head. "That's an F#."

It's cool enough that the two musical acts he mentions by name are Echo & the Bunnymen and Sun Ra, but perfect pitch? That's crazy. Well maybe not. He's been exploring that piano obsessively for about six months now.

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