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How To Listen to Tap Tones...
(modified 6/08/2014)
Page TTT_5
..The acoustical technique that will allow us to measure and monitor practical acoustical adjustments to the violin family instruments is called 'tap tones'.
..Practically, this is the sound generated when we gently tap a specific area of our wooden instruments. Our ears analyze the complicated sound and leave us with an impression of frequency. Actually this sound we hear is a collection of many different frequencies and or varying intensities. The Good Lord has given us a terrific sound analyzer in our ear / brain system. ..All the scientists tell us that life is much too complicated to ever have evolved. {The actual numbers coming out or years of scientific research are that the odds of the simplist single cell bacteria evolving, even one time, is one chance in 10 to the negative 43,000 power. That is 1/1,000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000...0000. (43,000 zeros) Now when you consider large numbers, they tell us that the total number of atoms in the entire universe is 10 to the 80 power (80 zeros) and that any event with odds of more than that (80 zeros) will never happen in all of time and space; and that 81 zeros is ten times less likely than that, and 82 zeros is ten times less likely than that... We can quickly figure out that hearing and brains are so beyond chance, that we have a proven scientific fact: Our hearing system and every other parts of the creation all around us are here by special creative design.
...Who really cares? you might ask, or Why is that important?
...Well the answer is just as simple and profound; if the sound system is designed with a purpose, then it will have order. It will make sense, it will be capable of understanding, it will be organized, it will work as a whole unit to do its designed job.
..In the case of music, to give pleasure and inspiration, to communicate.
..All this is to suggest that our violin family instrument will work properly to produce pleasing sound to our ear/ brain, when the music it makes is preconditioned to be well received by our ear / brain. Perhaps there are certain frequencies that are transmitted more readily through the bones of our inner ear, perhaps there are certain harmonic relationships that will produce more pleasing nerve response in our inner ear, perhaps our designed brain is able to determine for itself what is noise and what is music, what moves the emotion, and what is unpleasant.

..Now on to our present topic of how it listen to tap tones successfully to the purpose of Tap Tone Tuning. I will suggest that the key here is to listen with a quiet mind. Imagine yourself on vacation and stopped by the side of the highway in a rural setting on the open prairie. There is a gentle breeze blowing. You are relaxed and have just stepped out of your car for a stretch by the side of the vacant road. Nearby you hear a song bird's pretty call...
..This is the quiet mind we need when listening to tap tones successfully: Attentively, relaxed mind, receptive and with no appointments; just listening to the wind or whatever else you might hear.
..There is a concept that I call 'mind talking' that is the death knell of accuracy of listening. Instead of a quiet ('vacant' but actually completely alert) mind that is ready to hear whatever it might; you interpose a thought or idea to your conscious mind (talking to yourself in your mind/ or mind talking). Under these circumstances you will never hear what is actually coming to your ear/ brain, but the superimposed sound image that you spoke to your self.
..In other words you must simply train your self to listen with a quiet mind; then your ears / brain will allow you to hear the actural tap tone signal, allowing you to compare two tap tones accurately, which then opens up this field of tap tone analysis and adjustment to you.
..Otherwise, when you want the tap tone to be moving in some specific direction, as you begin to adjust, you will hear it moving in the direction you desire, rather than hearing what it actually is!
..We do need a wooden tap tone reference tool to make this all happen, so go to the 'Useful Tools' box and learn how to make and calibrate your own!