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Discussion Starter #1
I currently practice alot lately using ear plugs. I notice I can catch flatter and sharper intonation problems much quicker than I can when I play without them. I notice that the sound is much more duck-like, and far less brilliant, but I can definitely focus on my own intonatino issues using them.

I come across alot of readings, especially raschers use of the term "inner ear."

What is your definition of the inner ear, and its development, and how do you choose/practice developing your inner ear?
 

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I think what you describe is not the "inner ear." That concept refers to your mind's ability to hear (or pre-hear) sounds, pitches, etc. in your mind (rather than through your ears) - it's "imaginary" hearing. One develops it by listening and practice - Rascher has some exercises in his book.
 

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chitownjazz said:
I think what you describe is not the "inner ear." That concept refers to your mind's ability to hear (or pre-hear) sounds, pitches, etc. in your mind (rather than through your ears) - it's "imaginary" hearing. One develops it by listening and practice - Rascher has some exercises in his book.
Yes, that's what i understand by "inner ear".

But i think what the poster is referring to is like the thing singers do to hear their tuning or part better, in a choir, when they put a finger in one ear. I've seen that often and i've done it myself. No idea what the science behind the phenomenon is though!
 

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I agree w/chitownjazz' definition and add this. For me, the "inner ear" concept is also something I think of as consisting of my entire body and spirit. It's how I know things musically, how I receive them and it has to do with intuition as much as anything concrete.

BTW tetsuo, I use that muffled ear kind of technique sometimes with groups I'm directing. Of course I can hear tuning problems when I'm standing in front of them, but sometimes walking out of the room and listening from the other side of a close door, I can easier isolate pitch problems. They seem to be more acute with a wall of door acting as a filter.
 

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There is also a technical definition of the term:
The inner ear is the bony labyrinth, a system of passages comprising two main functional parts:

* the organ of hearing, or cochlea
* and the vestibular apparatus, the organ of balance that consists of three semicircular canals and the vestibule.

Inner ears are found in all vertebrates, with substantial variations in the form and function of their sensory organs. Each animal has two inner ears, one on each side of its head.
In mammals, the outer ear focuses and directs sound waves into the middle ear. In the middle ear, the energy of these pressure waves[1] is translated into mechanical vibrations of the middle ear’s bone structure. The cochlea of the inner ear propagates these mechanical signals as waves in fluid and membranes, and finally transduces them to nerve impulses which are transmitted to the brain.
... Wikipedia
 

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When you wear earplugs you are hearing more through bone conduction than the your outer and middle ear.

There's two concepts of the inner ear. One is the conceptual ear (much more accurate a term than 'inner ear'), and the physical (the coclea and balance mechanisms).

When I use to do sound, and I needed to wear intercom headphones, I wore the phones behind my ear, placed on the lower part of my skull. I found that by doing this, I could hear to mix accurately using both ears, while at the same time I could receive cues from the intercom through bone conduction.
 

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hakukani said:
When you wear earplugs you are hearing more through bone conduction than the your outer and middle ear.

There's two concepts of the inner ear. One is the conceptual ear (much more accurate a term than 'inner ear'), and the physical (the coclea and balance mechanisms).

When I use to do sound, and I needed to wear intercom headphones, I wore the phones behind my ear, placed on the lower part of my skull. I found that by doing this, I could hear to mix accurately using both ears, while at the same time I could receive cues from the intercom through bone conduction.
When tetsuok referred to Rascher's concept of "inner ear," I assumed he was referring to what you call the "conceptual ear." That's an excellent term for it by the way, but then, I like concepts. My favorite question when someone starts throwing a lot of details at me about something: "What's the concept?"
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I love these kinds of discussions, and it is exactly why I brought it up.

Definitely in rascher's case, and perhaps I should have elaborated, because he defines his use of "inner ear" in the top tones book. In reading it, I wanted to hear everyone else's definition.

My inner ear, is what I use when I have my ear plugs in and am gathering more of my sound, tone qualities, and pitch adjustment.

Rascher's concept is a cute name, much like, "gizmo key" on flute, but can be conceived as misleading. He uses the term literally from translation in german, else I might consider that it was translated incorrectly.

That is exactly the point I bring up.

I like chitown's later explanation of terms -- "What's the concept?"
 

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hakukani said:
When you wear earplugs you are hearing more through bone conduction than the your outer and middle ear..
So the original poster is saying that he hears pitch better through bone conduction, isn't he? Is that plausible? It could be. I don't know. I'm still interested as to why the "finger in the ear" technique works well in choirs. Excuse me if this has already been answered by implication and i'm being thick.

An experiment for all: Hum. Then put fingers in both ears. This is what i'm on about.
 

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chitownjazz said:
At the same time?!? Sorry, I'm too busy chewing bubble gum. :D
Ok. Put the bubble gum in your ears. Then hum. That'll work even better and you've still got your hands free. :D
 

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RootyTootoot said:
So the original poster is saying that he hears pitch better through bone conduction, isn't he? Is that plausible? It could be. I don't know. I'm still interested as to why the "finger in the ear" technique works well in choirs. Excuse me if this has already been answered by implication and i'm being thick.

An experiment for all: Hum. Then put fingers in both ears. This is what i'm on about.
This works also in other contexts. If I'm on the bandstand and things are a bit loud, and suddenly I want to check my intonation (call me obsessive, call me conscientious, call me unreliable), take my right hand off the horn (if I'm about to play an A, say), stick my finger in my ear, and I can hear myself through the bone: the surrounding sound is muted, and the conducted sound is clear. Sounds weird, but I can tell whether I'm in tune or not.
 

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In one of the blooze bands I played in, I would wear one earplug on the side that was nearest the drums and guitar player. I didn't need as much 'me' in the monitor, because I could hear myself through bone conduction.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I also do the same thing, haku, in the latin band I play in. 1 ear plug at performances on the band side of the stage. 2 ear plugs in the garage we practice in.
 
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