how can humans hear a note and replicate it?


Even if it’s not the same, it may still be close enough. How can we know what to do with the vocal chords in order to reproduce the sound?

In: 52

I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me, I have Total Recall as well as perfect pitch. When I hear an instrument even slightly out of tune, it bothers me to the point where I have to say something about it.

I feel like everyone has it to some degree. It’s not just singing, but a whistle will do it too

Humming or singing a note is no different than speaking a word. Because we spend so much time talking and using different tones and inflections in our speech we get pretty good at roughly determining subconsciously where a note lies in our vocal chords.


You’ve been practicing, to one degree or another, since the moment you were born. You’ve been listening to others speak and imitating them. It starts with “da-da” and “ma-ma” but it doesn’t end the moment you’re able to say “father” and “mother.” You keep learning and practicing, figuring out which tones are serious and which are light. Which are sarcastic and which are complimentary. You learn how to make your voice deeper or higher and to keep it flat or vary its tones. And the more you do it, the better you are at it.

Some people practice *hard* at that. Years of choir practice and voice lessons and listening to music with a critical ear. They go above and beyond the norm to develop their skill even further.

The more you practice, the closer you get.

Usually we practice until we get it right.
You make a singing sound, and if it doesn’t quite sound right, you adjust your mouth and throat etc until it does sound right.

Some people are better at figuring this out on their own, others can be taught by someone, but some of us just aren’t able to get it exactly right, although a lot of us can get close with enough instruction and practice.

It’s similar to how we learn to speak. As babies we figure out how to make sounds at random, and as we get praise from our parents if we make exactly the right sound, we try to make the sound again and eventually we figure out how to make the sound repeatedly.

Just to help you out on this, as nobody has mentioned it. They are vocal *cords*, not chords. They look like cords, so they are aptly named. A chord is a group of different notes that, when played together, produce a certain effect. (It’s also the front-to-back measurement on a wing of an airplane, but we digress…). The ability to immediately sing a note that they hear varies between people. Some have no pitch sense at all, and despite practice, never will get it. For others, it comes naturally. The amazing thing is when somebody can name a note they hear, or be able to join in with their own musical instrument, just by hearing what is being played. Those people have perfect pitch, which is tremendous for a musician to have.