Sunday, June 17, 2018

"Feeling" the Music

Most people can tell the difference between good and bad sounding music. In general, the common person can hear if someone's voice or an instrument is off tune. It is even more likely for a musician to determine if the pitch is flat or sharp. However, could you feel if a note is sharp or flat? Is your muscle memory developed enough to know what note you are hitting? The singer and contestant of America's Got Talent, Mandy Harvey, is deaf but plays her ukulele and sings because of muscle memory and vibrations through the floor. Instead of hearing her music as most do, she feels her music. As a violinist, I thought this to be extremely interesting because I, too, know if I am hitting a correct note through the vibrations I feel on my jaw from the violin. I cannot distinguish every note this way, but there are a number of notes that have a very specific vibration that tell me that I am playing in tune. So, not only is music something that you hear, but it is something that you can feel.


  1. Hey Dominique,
    Love your post! I remember seeing Mandy Harvy's audition on last years season of AGT and watching it numerous times after that in complete awe of what she was able to do. When I noticed the video you used, my first thought was how perfect this fits into the topic of "perception"! When I originally watched the video, I had so many questions just wondering how she was able to do what she did! However, some of my questions were answered now that I gained a better understanding of how we can actually "feel" music! (It's so cool that you play the violin, and that you can feel the vibrations on your jaw! I actually play the piano and I can't say I have the same experience at all, but I am able to play pretty well with my eyes closed as a result of years practicing.)

  2. Hi Dominique, Good Post. I wish I had my muscle memory developed to distinguish between notes or even the ability to feel the vibration and tell which note is which. I am envious of people with that gift. I do remember that performance by Mandy Harvey and how amazing it was. This is a great example of how one of more senses can help to compensate when one of our senses is lacking.

  3. I love this video, i remember watching this on my television and how amazed I was how she was able to feel the vibrations of the music to know what part of the song needed to sung. Crazy how people can teach themselves to be just like everyone else.