Creek Changed Its Tune

Most people hear only running water, but I try to listen carefully for various tones. This began when I walked near the water on Long Island. There were stones where the spring-fed stream emptied into the inlet, but you could hear the water only at low tide. Most of the time that stream had a range of an octave.

050415 Singing stones and selfie shadow
Singing stones in Stony Brook

I’ve been listening to the creek in the mountains for a year. Every once in a while I’d match the main tone just to keep in practice. Much to my surprise, I found the tone was becoming deeper. It made sense, because the water level was quite different than in the spring. There is a steady tone from the creek as a whole, but there are also individual notes where water hits a large stone and falls into the pit below. Those were the tones that were going out of my lower register.

081015 Creek is low
Jonathan Creek in August

Today I pulled out my phone and clicked on the pitch pipe app, not realizing only the icon was there. The app had been downloaded to the tablet, which I always had at church to get the starting note for the choir. Not giving up, I found a recording app and recorded the creek for a few seconds. Back at home, I sang with it and matched the tone with the piano. I’ll try to remember to check the creek again when the water level changes.

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