OT: absolute or perfect pitch.. anyone in here have it?

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nuxnamon
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OT: absolute or perfect pitch.. anyone in here have it?

Post by nuxnamon » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:08 pm

just wondering if anyone in hear has it.. If so, were you categorized as being born with it or did you do extensive training to acquire it.. Also, how has it helped you in your music?

Tone Deft
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Re: OT: absolute or perfect pitch.. anyone in here have it?

Post by Tone Deft » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:30 pm

no, my relative pitch gets better, slowly, year by year.


a friend of mine has perfect pitch. I don't know when he was labeled with it. he knew he had it and took an online test for some University study. they accepted him and sent him a high tech test kit. a week later a big box showed up with biohazard stickers on it. he opened it, it was mouthwash. he rinsed his mouth and sent it back. they tracked his DNA. he's Jewish by birth and it turns out that they traced perfect pitch back to a few Jewish ladies. not all people with perfect pitch are Jewish of course but a genetic line has been found for one group.
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crumhorn
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Re: OT: absolute or perfect pitch.. anyone in here have it?

Post by crumhorn » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:33 pm

Vaguely relevant.

When I was much younger I learned to play the piano intro to the Cat Stevens version of Morning Has Broken (played by Rick Wakeman), It starts with a major 6 interval of A to F# on the right hand.

Ever since whenever I hear those two notes played together I recognise it straight away. It's like a built in tuning fork or something, it's quite hard to describe the feeling except to use the word recognition - like when something reminds you of something you had long forgotten.
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logic_user99
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Re: OT: absolute or perfect pitch.. anyone in here have it?

Post by logic_user99 » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:33 pm

Tone Deft wrote:no, my relative pitch gets better, slowly, year by year.


a friend of mine has perfect pitch. I don't know when he was labeled with it. he knew he had it and took an online test for some University study. they accepted him and sent him a high tech test kit. a week later a big box showed up with biohazard stickers on it. he opened it, it was mouthwash. he rinsed his mouth and sent it back. they tracked his DNA. he's Jewish by birth and it turns out that they traced perfect pitch back to a few Jewish ladies. not all people with perfect pitch are Jewish of course but a genetic line has been found for one group.
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stringtapper
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Re: OT: absolute or perfect pitch.. anyone in here have it?

Post by stringtapper » Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:32 pm

No, and glad of it. It's often a burden for many students. Many students with perfect pitch tend to rely on it too much and then get lazy in their music theory and ear training classes. Also, in my college freshman ear training classes I often will write a certain dictation in one key signature but play it in another. This drives students with absolute pitch absolutely(!) crazy.

Plus it's not always forever. One of my professors has absolute pitch. Over the last few years her "perfect" pitch has begun to "detune." It has basically slipped by about a half-step. So now anything she hears as a C is actually a C#. Of course she's learned to compensate for it once she noticed it happening, but it's an interesting case. I have another colleague who is much younger and is already having the same issue.
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Moody
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Re: OT: absolute or perfect pitch.. anyone in here have it?

Post by Moody » Fri Sep 18, 2009 8:51 pm

How does perfect pitch work in a microtonal world?
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stringtapper
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Re: OT: absolute or perfect pitch.. anyone in here have it?

Post by stringtapper » Fri Sep 18, 2009 8:59 pm

Moody wrote:How does perfect pitch work in a microtonal world?
Microtonal intervals are so far within the critical band of hearing that I find it hard to believe anyone could have "microtonal perfect pitch." Never say never though.
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nuxnamon
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Re: OT: absolute or perfect pitch.. anyone in here have it?

Post by nuxnamon » Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:18 pm

Tone Deft wrote:no, my relative pitch gets better, slowly, year by year.


a friend of mine has perfect pitch. I don't know when he was labeled with it. he knew he had it and took an online test for some University study. they accepted him and sent him a high tech test kit. a week later a big box showed up with biohazard stickers on it. he opened it, it was mouthwash. he rinsed his mouth and sent it back. they tracked his DNA. he's Jewish by birth and it turns out that they traced perfect pitch back to a few Jewish ladies. not all people with perfect pitch are Jewish of course but a genetic line has been found for one group.
yeah, I hear relative pitch is actually more useful.. although I read somewhere that "perfect pitch was traced back to East Asia but who knows.. but great story. That's some nice DNA test although I assume some of the alcohols in the mouthwash would denature some of the proteins..

Stringtapper: by the sound of it, it sounds like you've encountered many students with perfect pitch.. I didn't know it was that common.. I've yet to meet a person who is.

scott nathaniel
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Re: OT: absolute or perfect pitch.. anyone in here have it?

Post by scott nathaniel » Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:40 pm

What exactly does it mean to have perfect pitch? Does it mean that if you arbitrarily choose a frequency, say 440 Hz, and arbitrarily label that frequency, say A-4, that someone with perfect pitch will distinguish that pitch from say, 339Hz? No way. So what does perfect pitch entail?

nuxnamon
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Re: OT: absolute or perfect pitch.. anyone in here have it?

Post by nuxnamon » Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:51 pm

scott nathaniel wrote:What exactly does it mean to have perfect pitch? Does it mean that if you arbitrarily choose a frequency, say 440 Hz, and arbitrarily label that frequency, say A-4, that someone with perfect pitch will distinguish that pitch from say, 339Hz? No way. So what does perfect pitch entail?
yeah I don't know if they could and honestly, I don't know how useful that would be in real life situations. maybe in the old game show "Name that tune".. I could never understand people that said "I can name that tune in 1 note".. who knows, maybe that person had perfect pitch but still, the tunes that start with one particular note must be countless.. but yeah, it seems the more I read about perfect pitch (bored at work, just waiting for the boss to leave also), relative pitch is more practical.

scott nathaniel
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Re: OT: absolute or perfect pitch.. anyone in here have it?

Post by scott nathaniel » Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:57 pm

nuxnamon wrote:
scott nathaniel wrote:What exactly does it mean to have perfect pitch? Does it mean that if you arbitrarily choose a frequency, say 440 Hz, and arbitrarily label that frequency, say A-4, that someone with perfect pitch will distinguish that pitch from say, 339Hz? No way. So what does perfect pitch entail?
yeah I don't know if they could and honestly, I don't know how useful that would be in real life situations. maybe in the old game show "Name that tune".. I could never understand people that said "I can name that tune in 1 note".. who knows, maybe that person had perfect pitch but still, the tunes that start with one particular note must be countless.. but yeah, it seems the more I read about perfect pitch (bored at work, just waiting for the boss to leave also), relative pitch is more practical.
The thing is, I don't know what perfect pitch means. I, at the risk of talking out my arse, think it doesn't actually exist, that everyone has a certain degree of relative pitch, some more finely tuned than others, but that perfect pitch is a fancy, yet meaningless word, kind of like the term genius. But this may all be lingua-arse.

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Re: OT: absolute or perfect pitch.. anyone in here have it?

Post by Tone Deft » Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:00 pm

you don't know what it is (you have google) but you say it doesn't exist? sounds like hate speech.

if I play a note to my friend he can tell me what it is. if I play a sequence of notes he can play it back. if I play a chord he can tell me what the chord is.

it's like seeing this color ----> ############
and saying it's red.

or eating something and being able to tell exactly what's in it, not everyone can do that. some people have awful palettes, some don't.


somewhere I saw a site that laid out common songs and related them to pitches. for example the first two notes of Here Comes The Bride are such and such interval. this helps you develop pitch. actually a friend who went to music school used that method, he'd listen to CDs of songs like that to memorize the intervals.
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nuxnamon
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Re: OT: absolute or perfect pitch.. anyone in here have it?

Post by nuxnamon » Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:06 pm

I assume it's safe to say that some might be born with perfect pitch and not even know it because they've never been interested in music outside of just listening for pleasure.. technically I could still play him some notes but he would not know how to play it back because he knows nothing about theory.. am i right or am I oversimplifying it?? perfect pitch doesn't mean crap unless you have some musical background??

Tone Deft
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Re: OT: absolute or perfect pitch.. anyone in here have it?

Post by Tone Deft » Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:08 pm

no theory background needed. anyone can walk up to a piano and plunk on the notes. someone with perfect pitch would know which notes to hit.

think about it like being able to identify colors, something we can all do, except the color blind.
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scott nathaniel
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Re: OT: absolute or perfect pitch.. anyone in here have it?

Post by scott nathaniel » Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:10 pm

Tone Deft wrote:you don't know what it is (you have google) but you say it doesn't exist? sounds like hate speech.
Don't be so dramatic!
Tone Deft wrote:somewhere I saw a site that laid out common songs and related them to pitches. for example the first two notes of Here Comes The Bride are such and such interval. this helps you develop pitch. actually a friend who went to music school used that method, he'd listen to CDs of songs like that to memorize the intervals.
But intervals are different, depending on the temperament, so a third in just intonation is not the same size as third in equal temperament, so pitch and intervals are relative to their temperament.

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