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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000157.txt from 1996/01

From: Claudia Zornow <claudia@-----.COM>
Subj: Counting
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 1996 14:34:28 -0500

The scuba diving counting method looks useful but maybe a bit
obtrusive. I count on my fingers in binary, which is almost
invisible to those around me. I know this sounds like a dreadful
computer-nerd thing to do, but an engineer/tubist friend showed
it to me, and it really works well for me. I thought it would be
too difficult to learn, but I managed it in a day.

What I do is assign a binary digit position to each finger:
the index finger is 1, middle finger 2, ring finger 4, little
finger 8, and thumb 16. I then put my fingers down in the
following pattern (example oriented to left hand):

thumb little ring middle index
1 X
2 X
3 X X
4 X
5 X X
6 X X
7 X X X
8 X
9 X X
10 X X
11 X X X
12 X X
13 X X X
14 X X X
15 X X X X
16 X
17 X X

This looks cumbersome, but if you're not scared off by the
concept of binary it becomes natural very quickly. Two big
advantages are that you can count to 32 on one hand and that
it matches the usual division of music into 8 or 16-bar
groupings. I can even count by keeping my fingers going
without thinking about it consciously or hearing the
numbers in my head; I just need to tune back into my
fingers and "read" the current value before the rest
is over!

If anyone tries this and likes it, let me know. I've tried
for years to convert other people, which should be easy here
in Silicon Valley where I'm surrounded by engineer-musicians,
but no one has done it yet.


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