Mary Schweitzer

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Music and CFIDS

I have perfect pitch. It's so strong that I get frustrated if the pitch in my head and the pitch in the accompaniment is not the same, because I then literally had to transpose the notes I was reading before I could sing them! This is true!

I was so reliable that I was always placed with good singers who couldn't keep their pitch -- I would be 2nd soprano or 1st alto, the harder notes to find in 8-piece choral music; I've even sung tenor, although I had a range that could go to coloratura.

So I've always enjoyed singing out a harmony line in a clear voice when with other people, say, carol singing. But in the last few years, while I was in slow-onset but before I fell off the truck, I began feeling unsure of my pitch for the first time in my life.

It seems to me, that if this DD can affect your light sensitivity and sensitivity to noises, if it can affect my perception of what I am doing when pouring coffee, or my aim trying to get a glass into the dishwasher (result, broken glass when slammed on another glass in the dishwasher because I missed) -- hmmmmmm, I wonder 'bout my pitch?

Or is pitch somewhere in there with the spelling I can't do some days, or the wrong word that pops out (like "map" for "puzzle")?

Or is it like the time I was convinced a green rug was brown?

So -- this is the not-good news -- I suspect that the DD can mess around with your sense of pitch. What to do? I suppose you have tried all the old tricks (close one ear and you hear yourself better against the accompaniment -- you may not be able to hit the note automatically, but you probably can ratchet down to the way MOST musicians, who have RELATIVE pitch, behave!)

I would ask my family, but my husband is tone-deaf (really, can't tell the difference between up and down in music), and my kids are, uh, teenagers and they laugh at mom singing anyway ...

© Mary Schweitzer, 1997

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