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#1134053 - 01/23/05 05:52 AM Perfect Pitch!!!
black_coffee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/05
Posts: 23
Loc: York, England
So what is perfect pitch exactly?

Is it a freakish 'photographic' type memory of sound? Is it a talent?

How rare is it? How important is it?

I've found out that I have it, but not sure if it's that much of a good thing or not... just interested in hearing about fellow pianists hearing ability...
_________________________
He got smaller as the world got big, the whiz man never fit him like the whiz kid did...

Ben Folds (legend)

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Piano & Music Accessories
#1134054 - 01/23/05 06:44 AM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
How did you find out you have it?.
_________________________
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon

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#1134055 - 01/23/05 07:47 AM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6150
Perfect pitch is the ability to hear a sound and knows its absolute pitch (e.g., you hear a kettle whistle when the water boils and immediately you know the whistle is a B-flat).

How do you know you have it? When you listen to a song you've never seen the sheet music of before, if in your head you know what notes are sung, you have perfect pitch. Close you eyes and randomly hit a note on the piano -- can you consistently guess right what notes you played without having to look at where your fingers hit the keyboard? If you can, you have perfect pitch (well, assuming your piano is in tune to begin with).

Contrasting that to "relative pitch." Relative pitch is the ability to hear intervals between notes. Say you play a note, you tell me that note is A=440Hz, then you play another note, and I can consistently guess right what that other note is without you telling me what it is just because I can hear the how far that note is from a reference you told me about, that's "relative pitch."

Relative pitch can be trained. ABRSM requires relative pitch training in their exams. Most college Music Theory 101/102 classes would also have some relative pitch training ("hearing the interval"). I'd say that every formally educated musician should be able to do relative pitch.

Perfect pitch... I think it's either you're born with it or you're not. I have seen claims that people can teach/train you to have perfect pitch, but I don't think those claims are credible.
_________________________
www.PianoRecital.org -- my piano recordings

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#1134056 - 01/23/05 10:59 AM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
black_coffee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/05
Posts: 23
Loc: York, England
 Quote:
Originally posted by Stevester:
How did you find out you have it?. [/b]
Just that when I'm used to the sound of something - I can then know what pitch it is, without it being relative to anything.

I guess it's a lucky thing, makes transcribing easier anyhow. Unlucky tho, when people find out and ask you every five minutes what the pitch of the microwave is.

F# incidentally :-)

P.S. Thanks for the comprehensive reply Axtremus.
_________________________
He got smaller as the world got big, the whiz man never fit him like the whiz kid did...

Ben Folds (legend)

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#1134057 - 01/23/05 11:03 AM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
PianoBeast10489 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 830
Loc: Virginia Beach,VA
At our community college my teacher has us take ear training tests that test to see if you have perfect pitch. Though only 2 out of the 12 advanced students have it.

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#1134058 - 01/23/05 01:05 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
pete Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/03
Posts: 796
Loc: port washington, ny, us
I was blessed with perfect pitch. when my son is playing the piano in the other room, and hits a wrong note, I can say F#, dear.
Also when I was in High school, I imitated the change period bell perfectly, and got my chemistry class ended five minutes early. I went to my thirtieth reunion recently, and heard the bell go off, and was pleased to hear it was still High E.
Other than that, it makes it hard to play a piano that is way out of tune.
I don't think it can be taught, but I believe some people may have it latently, and can improve it with training.

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#1134059 - 01/25/05 09:00 AM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
nan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/04
Posts: 140
Loc: San Francisco
Pete, how does perfect pitch work in regards to the different octaves on the piano. Can you tell which octave?

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#1134060 - 01/25/05 09:20 AM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
seebechstein Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/04
Posts: 1085
Loc: houston
 Quote:
Originally posted by PianoBeast10489:
At our community college my teacher has us take ear training tests that test to see if you have perfect pitch. Though only 2 out of the 12 advanced students have it. [/b]
That's not statistically significant, since the uncertainty in that sample is more than one student, and random guessing by a large sample will be 1:12 since there are 12 chromatic pitches in an octave.

Everyone that ever told me they had perfect pitch were incorrect when I played a note they couldn't see on the piano. I'm suspicious of yall's claims!

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#1134061 - 01/25/05 11:18 AM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
ivorythumper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 1730
Loc: The Great American Southwest
According to some schools of classical anthropology, it would seem (theoretically) that perfect pitch is trainable, since sound is a phantasm stored in the imagination. (Think of Beethoven's 9th in your head -- that's an example of a sound phantasm). Memory is complex, and seems to have different processes for retention of external stimuli (sight, sound, touch, smell, taste) than for ideas (e.g., justice)

In the same way you know someone when you see them again, or even a picture of some one, or you know color or smell, you should be able to memorize sound pitch (at least within a bandwidth of the note intervals on a piano).

Any one with perfect pitch has to register it to a keyboard (A440 for instance) -- they have to make an association to begin with and then recall the association when they hear the sound.

I think it has to do more with a particularly good memory for a particular type of sensory stimulus (which might have something to do with an emotional response to a particular note) than anything else.
_________________________
Estonically yours,

Ivorythumper

"Man without mysticism is a monster"

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#1134062 - 01/25/05 11:42 AM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
neciebuggs Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/30/04
Posts: 620
Loc: Chula Vista
Piano Beast....

Who teaches you? Is it at TCC? I am taking a few classes there prior to transfer. I would love to be tested... which class? hehe BTW, how was the John Williams concert if you went?

Take care!

Denise
_________________________
Denise

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#1134063 - 01/25/05 12:03 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
PianoBeast10489 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 830
Loc: Virginia Beach,VA
 Quote:
Originally posted by seebechstein:
 Quote:
Originally posted by PianoBeast10489:
At our community college my teacher has us take ear training tests that test to see if you have perfect pitch. Though only 2 out of the 12 advanced students have it. [/b]
That's not statistically significant, since the uncertainty in that sample is more than one student, and random guessing by a large sample will be 1:12 since there are 12 chromatic pitches in an octave.

Everyone that ever told me they had perfect pitch were incorrect when I played a note they couldn't see on the piano. I'm suspicious of yall's claims! [/b]
they both correctly tanscribed a song by ear, then my teacher collected the scores we made, and their's was perfect.

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#1134064 - 01/25/05 12:40 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
PianoBeast10489 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 830
Loc: Virginia Beach,VA
 Quote:
Originally posted by neciebuggs:
Piano Beast....

Who teaches you? Is it at TCC? I am taking a few classes there prior to transfer. I would love to be tested... which class? hehe BTW, how was the John Williams concert if you went?

Take care!

Denise [/b]
The concert was awsome! Thanks for asking. Its at ODU actually. Its not really a class though, my teacher, Suzanne Guy, is really involved with ODU, so she does a lot of things there. Her last recital was at the Dhine Fine Arts Center on the Steinway D! I'm not sure what class it is, but it the testing is on Saturday (of this week) but i think she has it reserved for just her students that day. Its a 45 minute ear training/ music theory test. I think that they use the college tests but im not sure. I am level 8 so i dont know if i am going to get the same test as people in lower or higher theory levels.

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#1134065 - 01/25/05 01:37 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
neciebuggs Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/30/04
Posts: 620
Loc: Chula Vista
Thanks PianoBeast!
She doesnt sound familiar... I am sure I will test in San Diego when I move there in the summer. I have my audition in 3 and a half weeks. I have NO idea what level I am. When I was a teen I played anually to be graded... I remember playing in the Moderately Difficult Category... however... that was over half a lifetime ago.
I would love to know how my pitch is... when I was in college in 1992 I audtioned for a chorale (which ultimately was conflicting with my schedule) and the dean of the Music Dept commented on my pitch, and suggested even if I couldnt schedule chorale, to take voice lessons so that I didnt lose what I had... So i did for a semester.

Thanks for the info!
_________________________
Denise

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#1134066 - 01/25/05 01:46 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
PianoBeast10489 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 830
Loc: Virginia Beach,VA
any time. You are moving to San Diego? My parents went on vacation once there and loved it. The only thing they didn't like was the drive home... cross country!

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#1134067 - 01/25/05 01:52 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
neciebuggs Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/30/04
Posts: 620
Loc: Chula Vista
Yes, My husband is in the Navy, and we pack up in June. I lived there from 1991-1997 though, so it will be like going home! I cant wait. Although.. I will be driving alone with 3 children 5-11 accross country... FUN FUN FUN!!
_________________________
Denise

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#1134068 - 01/25/05 03:52 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
Piana Justice Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 299
Loc: Greenville, NC
i also think perfect pitch means being able to interpret certain chords [F Major] when you hear a song.
_________________________

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#1134069 - 01/26/05 06:37 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
Piano Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/01/03
Posts: 400
Loc: Southern Ontario,Canada
Then there is the one about the piano teacher [2 of them actually] claiming perfect pitch. Hadn't tuned the piano in 20 years "cause it sounds just fine". A=440...NOT
_________________________
Richard, the"Piano Guy"
Piano Moving Tuning & Repair
From London ON to Fort Erie ON

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#1134070 - 01/26/05 06:43 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
PianoBeast10489 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 830
Loc: Virginia Beach,VA
I took a sample test yeserday at my lesson. A test for perfect pitch she gave me was i had to write out a song that i heard, right hand only, then left hand, by listening to it. You had to get the rythm right too, and i got a 100 on it! I think that is just part of the test though, so im not going to say i have perfect pitch, because unless i sing it, it is hard for me to figure out by listening to intervals, oh thats a P5th, or thats a m3. I can identify augmented, major, minor diminished, etc. chords, and the chord that they are played which is perfect pitch, but i think you must be able to identify the intervals just by hearing them. Oh well. I will find out officially on Sat. And i asked my teacher if that interval stuff can be trained or not, and she said it DEFINATELY can be. The more you get used to trying to identify stuff such as that, you get familiar with it.

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#1134071 - 01/27/05 03:42 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
gregjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 316
Loc: CA
Everyone, if you don't have perfect pitch or relative pitch, learn them! They give you such an advantage, and it'll be time well spent!

Well, I was born with both perfect pitch and relative pitch, so I can't say exactly how much work it'd take to learn them... \:\)
_________________________
Greg Schlaepfer
Orange Tree Samples
http://www.orangetreesamples.com

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#1134072 - 01/27/05 04:06 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
RKVS1 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 3192
Loc: Topeka, Kansas
grrrrrrrrr....

( I THINK that was a low A, but it might have been Eb ) \:\(

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#1134073 - 01/27/05 07:08 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
pete Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/03
Posts: 796
Loc: port washington, ny, us
Piano Beast, I think you are confusing ear training with perfect pitch. Perfect pitch is simply the ability to recognize a given pitch without a reference tone. As to recognizing intervals and triads, people with relative pitch can be, and are trained to do that all the time.

A couple of other things about perfect pitch. I found a test on the internet and took it. Turns out it was part of a scientific study being conducted at Berkeley into genetics and perfect pitch. anyway, they contacted me to tell me I had perfect pitch.

Also, I was much more confident about perfect pitch when I was younger. It does seem to be less certain now that I am older. (I am fifty.)

When I was five, my parents got their first piano.
I recall associating colors with each note. The notes E and G were blue and green. D was golden. C was red. A was amber, and the B was off white. I have read that other people with perfect pitch have associations with notes that reach across other senses. (Sorry, can't remember the name for that phenomenon right now. )

One other thing, for long periods of my life, I played on pianos that were out of tune, so for a few years, my sense of pitch was also flat. For the past thirteen years or so I have owned quality pianos that I keep in tune, so my sense is more accurate. So even "absolute" is relative. Got that?

would love to hear from others with PP regarding trans -sensory experiences.

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#1134074 - 01/27/05 11:09 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
gregjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 316
Loc: CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by pete:
Piano Beast, I think you are confusing ear training with perfect pitch. Perfect pitch is simply the ability to recognize a given pitch without a reference tone. As to recognizing intervals and triads, people with relative pitch can be, and are trained to do that all the time.

A couple of other things about perfect pitch. I found a test on the internet and took it. Turns out it was part of a scientific study being conducted at Berkeley into genetics and perfect pitch. anyway, they contacted me to tell me I had perfect pitch.

Also, I was much more confident about perfect pitch when I was younger. It does seem to be less certain now that I am older. (I am fifty.)

When I was five, my parents got their first piano.
I recall associating colors with each note. The notes E and G were blue and green. D was golden. C was red. A was amber, and the B was off white. I have read that other people with perfect pitch have associations with notes that reach across other senses. (Sorry, can't remember the name for that phenomenon right now. )

One other thing, for long periods of my life, I played on pianos that were out of tune, so for a few years, my sense of pitch was also flat. For the past thirteen years or so I have owned quality pianos that I keep in tune, so my sense is more accurate. So even "absolute" is relative. Got that?

would love to hear from others with PP regarding trans -sensory experiences. [/b]
That's interesting about associating colors with tones. I don't associate the notes with anything at all. I just hear a note and say, oh, that's a Bb, or I hear a chord and say, oh that's a major 7, etc.

One of the really cool things you can do when you have perfect pitch is to transcribe music without any instrument nearby. Something that I like doing is to go to the library, check out a CD, listen to it there, and transcribe it. Perfect pitch is so worth having. Imagine being able to play anything that you hear. \:\)
_________________________
Greg Schlaepfer
Orange Tree Samples
http://www.orangetreesamples.com

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#1134075 - 01/27/05 11:50 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
ProPianoGuyBC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 388
JUST tried the test!!!
Don't have perfect pitch according to the internet test!
Darn!
ProPIano

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#1134076 - 01/28/05 01:45 AM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
ivorythumper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 1730
Loc: The Great American Southwest
 Quote:
Originally posted by pete:
I recall associating colors with each note. The notes E and G were blue and green. D was golden. C was red. A was amber, and the B was off white. I have read that other people with perfect pitch have associations with notes that reach across other senses. (Sorry, can't remember the name for that phenomenon right now. )[/b]
The phenomenon is called synesthesia -- meaning "joined perceptions" -- hearing color is fairly common. Even tasting sound (I had a synthesthic gf --quite a gifted pianist -- who described me as F# deep violet)! I thought she was Ab (not her bra size) and definitely a saffron yellow.

Scriabin and Messiaen might have had it (or artificially devised systems of correlation). Scriabin's color scheme was
C# Purple
F# Bright Blue/Violet
B Blue
E Sky Blue
A Green
D Yellow
G Orange
C Red
F Deep Red
Bb Rose/Steel
Eb Flesh
Ab Violet
Db Purple (same as C#)
Gb Bright Blue/Violet (same as F#)

Others see different colors. What are yours?
_________________________
Estonically yours,

Ivorythumper

"Man without mysticism is a monster"

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#1134077 - 01/28/05 04:46 AM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
pete Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/03
Posts: 796
Loc: port washington, ny, us
That's interesting about associating colors with tones. I don't associate the notes with anything at all. I just hear a note and say, oh, that's a Bb, or I hear a chord and say, oh that's a major 7, etc.

One of the really cool things you can do when you have perfect pitch is to transcribe music without any instrument nearby. Something that I like doing is to go to the library, check out a CD, listen to it there, and transcribe it. Perfect pitch is so worth having. Imagine being able to play anything that you hear.

I should make it clear that that color association- was much stronger when I was a little kid, and not so strong now.

As for being able to transcribe any music, or play anything you can hear. Transcsribe in the same key--yes I CAN do that, but within limits. Obviously a very complex piece with lots of thick chords takes a lot of listens. Something lyrical and melodic is easy. As for being able to play something after hearing it; I discovered I had a real affinity for doing that with pop music at a very young age, maybe seven. That was a mixed blessing; i had lots of fun entertaining friends and neighbors, but it meant I spent much less time practicing classical music. Made me a much less serious pianist; a piano player rather than a pianist. (But had a lot of fun at parties.) Someone else I know who comes from a musical family told me that her father had the same talent, and the same tendency, and never became a "serious" pianist as a result.
I guess the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Pianists who have the ability to concentrate and learn a difficult technical piece until it is flawless envy the player who can hear a tune once and play it. If you have both discipline and an ear, then I guess you are elite.

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#1134078 - 01/28/05 07:11 AM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
Rodney Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 735
Loc: Caledon ON, Canada
I thought some of you might find this interesting as it's right on topic.

------------------

Tone Language Translates To Perfect Pitch

New Research Shows Mandarin Speakers More Likely to Acquire Rare Musical Ability


http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/newsrel/soc/DeutschTone.asp


Rodney

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#1134079 - 01/28/05 07:45 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
Fan of the Bösendorfer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/04
Posts: 176
Loc: NYC
Rodney--thanks for posting that very interesting link.
_________________________
Sarah

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#1134080 - 01/28/05 08:04 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
PianoBeast10489 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 830
Loc: Virginia Beach,VA
 Quote:
Originally posted by pete:
Piano Beast, I think you are confusing ear training with perfect pitch. Perfect pitch is simply the ability to recognize a given pitch without a reference tone. As to recognizing intervals and triads, people with relative pitch can be, and are trained to do that all the time.

A couple of other things about perfect pitch. I found a test on the internet and took it. Turns out it was part of a scientific study being conducted at Berkeley into genetics and perfect pitch. anyway, they contacted me to tell me I had perfect pitch.

Also, I was much more confident about perfect pitch when I was younger. It does seem to be less certain now that I am older. (I am fifty.)

When I was five, my parents got their first piano.
I recall associating colors with each note. The notes E and G were blue and green. D was golden. C was red. A was amber, and the B was off white. I have read that other people with perfect pitch have associations with notes that reach across other senses. (Sorry, can't remember the name for that phenomenon right now. )

One other thing, for long periods of my life, I played on pianos that were out of tune, so for a few years, my sense of pitch was also flat. For the past thirteen years or so I have owned quality pianos that I keep in tune, so my sense is more accurate. So even "absolute" is relative. Got that?

would love to hear from others with PP regarding trans -sensory experiences. [/b]
I take the official test tommorow anyway.

I know thats ear training, but i wasn't exactly sure.

BTW, what website was this test at, i would like to take it.

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#1134081 - 01/28/05 11:17 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
gregjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 316
Loc: CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Rodney:
I thought some of you might find this interesting as it's right on topic.

------------------

Tone Language Translates To Perfect Pitch

New Research Shows Mandarin Speakers More Likely to Acquire Rare Musical Ability


http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/newsrel/soc/DeutschTone.asp


Rodney [/b]
I'm a bit skeptical about that, because in Mandarin the tones are relative, not absolute pitches. There are five tones in Mandarin: pitch going down, going up, a stable pitch, going down and then up, and a neutral tone -- which is said short and quietly. So when you learn Chinese, you pay attention to associate tones with words, otherwise it'll be a whole lot more difficult to comprehend.

In case you couldn't understand what I just said, here's a website that fantastically explains the tones in Mandarin:

http://www.wku.edu/~shizhen.gao/Chinese101/pinyin/tones.htm

And one more:

http://www.chinese-outpost.com/language/pronunciation/pron0015.asp

(the "mā mà mă ma" part is very commonly used to demonstrate tones) \:\)
_________________________
Greg Schlaepfer
Orange Tree Samples
http://www.orangetreesamples.com

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#1134082 - 01/29/05 03:40 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
Alanjazz. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/13/04
Posts: 84
Loc: England
In reply to Black Coffee. I understand that true by ear pianists that play completely without any knowledge of sight reading or theories of keys scales or chords will probably have pretty near perfect pitch. What I do is memorise the melody or copy a pianist in play-along. Once I know the the starting note I can mostly play the rest of the tune. This is jazz or blues music.And popular standards.

I have to usually look at the piano keys to see where my fingers go but not always. I know what all the sounds each key or chord make including harmonic chords as you use in jazz improvisation.

Does anyone else understand what I say?

Black Coffee, I lived in York between 1940 to 1951 with time spent in the R.A.F. from 1946 to 1948. Used to go to jazz concerts down Coney Street where Steve Race played and Vic Lewis.

Do you still live there?

Alan

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#1134083 - 01/31/05 08:15 AM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
black_coffee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/05
Posts: 23
Loc: York, England
Yes I do. I'm at York University. I go to jazz concerts at The Black Swan. Is that Coney Street?

York is a wonderful place.
_________________________
He got smaller as the world got big, the whiz man never fit him like the whiz kid did...

Ben Folds (legend)

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#1134084 - 01/31/05 10:29 AM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
Allegretto Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 91
Loc: Norway
Where can i take the test you were talking about?

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#1134085 - 02/01/05 08:43 AM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
PianoBeast10489 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 830
Loc: Virginia Beach,VA
Nope, just got the test back yesterday. I don't have it... \:\( Still only 2 kids in the advanced class have it. I got a 100 on the theory test though! \:\)

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#1134086 - 02/01/05 11:10 AM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
Rodney Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 735
Loc: Caledon ON, Canada
I thought I would test my son on the weekend with some notes at the keyboard. He has been playing for over 6 years (classically trained) and spends a lot of time improvising and playing by ear. He seems to be able to work out just about any piece simply by listening to it. I would have thought that he would have near perfect pitch or at least good relative pitch BUT no cigar. Not even close!!!

Rodney

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#1134087 - 02/01/05 01:22 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
PianoBeast10489 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 830
Loc: Virginia Beach,VA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Rodney:
...and spends a lot of time improvising and playing by ear. He seems to be able to work out just about any piece simply by listening to it. I would have thought that he would have near perfect pitch or at least good relative pitch BUT no cigar. Not even close!!!
Rodney [/b]
that is exactly like me. If i have a note to start with i can figure out stuff really easily by listening to it. And if i listen to something a lot, i can figure it out, but i don't have it.

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#1134088 - 02/01/05 01:52 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
Alanjazz. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/13/04
Posts: 84
Loc: England
Just to add to what I tried to say above; having been on the popular 'Learn piano Jazz' website for some time, some learned soul had been reading my comments on 'ear' playing and made the following comment to me:- < Hi Alan:
By reading all your posts i deduce that you have an absolute pitch, and your subconscious outcrops when you play the piano. That’s a privilege that only a few people may have. Enjoy it.
Please read my file “The subconscious in music” and you will identify yourself in it.> End of comment. I was quite surprised by this as my mother had the knack too, which is where I inherited it from. Quite a confidence boost, must now go to 1 hours practice on my Pleyel 131 !

Alan

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#1134089 - 02/02/05 04:55 AM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
Alanjazz. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/13/04
Posts: 84
Loc: England
Reply to 'Black coffee ' Yes York is a fine City. I stopped living there in 1951. Cannot recall the Black Horse Pub.
Sometime in 1970's went to York Uni to see Teddy Wilson in a concert with Dave Sheppard group and solo too. Fantastic pianist of course specially with the Benny Goodman trio and sextet.
I never stop to analyse my playing. Just start an ony note that seems OK like F, G, B'flat and so on. If I play along, I just key in to whatever it is. I only know the notes and some of those I'm not sure of,like D sharp or E flat ?? my theory is hopeless.
Nonetheless I get by, as did many players far away better than I, but still played by ear.
Shall I contact you by private message perhaps, don't want to hog the bandwidth here.

Alan

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#1134090 - 02/05/05 07:09 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
hgiles Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 736
Loc: Charlottesville Virginia
To me perfect pitch has nothing to do with recognizing a chord when it sounds. It is simply identifying a tone when it sounds. If you couple that with theory then yes, you will know that when you hear Db F Ab that you are listening to a Db major triad.

I knew a guy in college that had perfect pitch and when we were taking ear quizzes he could hear every note out of four and would write them out from lowest to highest, BDFA for example. His problem was he had to say what quality of chord it was and he couldn't do it -- ever. He never studied his theory lessons. We helped each other because my ear was crappy and his theory was, so after he wrote out the notes, I would tell him the chord was half-diminished or whatever it happened to be.

I got better with the ear training, but never had very good relative pitch either.
_________________________
Haywood
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#1134091 - 02/05/05 11:24 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
gregjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 316
Loc: CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by hgiles:
I knew a guy in college that had perfect pitch and when we were taking ear quizzes he could hear every note out of four and would write them out from lowest to highest, BDFA for example. His problem was he had to say what quality of chord it was and he couldn't do it -- ever. He never studied his theory lessons. We helped each other because my ear was crappy and his theory was, so after he wrote out the notes, I would tell him the chord was half-diminished or whatever it happened to be.[/b]
Which is why it is so ideal to have both perfect pitch and relative pitch. With perfect pitch I can pick out all the notes in a chord to figure out what sort of chord it is, but it's much faster to just use relative pitch and listen to the overall tone of the chord to identify it.
_________________________
Greg Schlaepfer
Orange Tree Samples
http://www.orangetreesamples.com

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#1134092 - 02/07/05 12:09 AM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
Alanjazz. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/13/04
Posts: 84
Loc: England
If you go to the topic 'Free Jazz lessons' on this forum you will see my post on the subject of 'pitch'. We are in danger of confusing 'by ear' playing, with playing 'by ear combined with full theory training'. In the former playing, one relies on connecting your conscious mind with your subconscious mind. See the post earlier above. This certainly allows you to play jazz spontaneously. I've been playing the piano this way for 70 years and still practicing! Though I will admit, only for my own pleasure but it is amazingly soul satisfying.

Alan

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#1134093 - 02/05/06 03:40 AM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
Blue Sun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/15/05
Posts: 90
Loc: Australia
I can close my eyes, play a random note on the piano, and i can identify what it is. Does this mean i have perfect pitch?
_________________________

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#1134094 - 02/05/06 01:13 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
swingal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 1094
Loc: England
Blue Sun

Well seems like you have perfect pitch. I do not particularly think I have, as I do not seem to need it, I just play by ear and if it sounds right then that's it.

Incidentally I'm the same guy as 'Alanjazz' but due to some clitch in PC technology I lost all identity, had to make a restart.

Alan

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#1134095 - 02/05/06 03:26 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
Johnny-Boy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 661
Loc: PA
Having perfect pitch isn't all that important. What is important is the ability to hear intervals.

Best, John ;\)
_________________________
Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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#1134096 - 02/05/06 04:40 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
curry Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 3769
Loc: Hamilton Twp, NJ
This has been discussed before. There's some confusion here as to the difference between perfect pitch, and relative pitch. To have perfect pitch you would need to be a computer, like the ETD's tuners use to tune a piano. The human ear cannot recognize the difference in pitch between A-440, and A-440.2, or A-440.5. If you could, you would have perfect pitch.
The human ear can recognize the pitch A-440 being played, and can even recognize the difference in pitch between A-440 and A-442. This is relative pitch. You can recognize the pitch A-440, and if you hear A-442, you can tell the A is now a bit more sharp, but you cannot say how much. If you could you would have perfect pitch.
Sorry guys, very few people have ever have been documented with perfect pitch ability, and the vast majority of people who think they do, only have relative pitch.
_________________________
G.Fiore "aka-Curry". Tuner-Technician serving the central NJ, S.E. PA area. b214cm@aol.com Concert tuning, Regulation-voicing specialist.
Dampp-Chaser installations, piano appraisals. PTG S.Jersey Chapter 080.
Bösendorfer 214 # 47,299 214-358

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#1134097 - 02/06/06 12:06 AM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
Blue Sun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/15/05
Posts: 90
Loc: Australia
I also tune pianos without the aid of another piano or whatever device people use to aid them, purely by ear. So i'm pretty sure i have absolute pitch, my dad also has this ability, so i suppose it could be genetic.
_________________________

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#1134098 - 02/06/06 12:12 AM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
curry Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 3769
Loc: Hamilton Twp, NJ
Aural tuning has nothing to do with perfect, or absolute pitch. Tuning requires using a reference pitch, usually A-440, and being able to set a temperament by discriminating beat rates to produce a harmonious tuning within the guidelines of each pianos particular inharmonicity constants.
Then being able to set a pleaisng amount of stretch to the high treble and low bass of the piano.
_________________________
G.Fiore "aka-Curry". Tuner-Technician serving the central NJ, S.E. PA area. b214cm@aol.com Concert tuning, Regulation-voicing specialist.
Dampp-Chaser installations, piano appraisals. PTG S.Jersey Chapter 080.
Bösendorfer 214 # 47,299 214-358

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#1134099 - 02/06/06 06:50 AM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
swingal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 1094
Loc: England
I agree this thread is rather abstract. I can tell when a note is needing tuning. I can certainly tell when it is played out of harmony or out of tune for the music as written.

Then again playing by ear purely as a musician as I do without being taught anything means you know what each key sounds like. This has to be stored in the brain somewhere. For when you have done it long enough ( many years) you achieve the ability to just play the instrument. The sound is what matters and on single notes one mistake is heard immediately or even as you press the key .....but too late , at which time you double up quickly to overcome the mistake by playing the correct note. Usually the next semitone.

In jazz those errors are soon forgotten and some jazz, unfortunately, uses discordant sounds to help the abstract effect --- don't they guys ?)

I think tuners are fantastic and my Steinway had one of the best in England, he had to be, due to the poor acoustics of the room for one thing!

Alan

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#1134100 - 02/13/06 12:00 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
hgiles Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 736
Loc: Charlottesville Virginia
If you have perfect pitch then translating it to relative pitch is a cerebral skill and should be a very easy and small step to make.

However, developing absolute pitch without perfect pitch can seem impossible for some, but in theory should be doable for anyone.
_________________________
Haywood
-------------

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#1134101 - 02/13/06 01:23 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
paul milando Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/06
Posts: 265
Loc: westfield Indiana
I thought perfect pitch meant a great piano presentation resulting in a sale!!!!!!!!!!
_________________________
Talking about music is like dancing about art. If the truth will set you free, what do prunes do?

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#1134102 - 02/13/06 03:07 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
Johnny-Boy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 661
Loc: PA
So I guess if the phenomenon known as “perfect pitch” does in fact exist, then it's reasonable to assume that the phenomenon known as “tone deafness’ also exists. I never really believed anyone was really tone deaf – with the exception of someone that is totally deaf. Hmm… I’ll have to give this further thought. Hmm… Okay I did, and I’m still a little baffled – and besides all this thinking is giving me a migraine.

John
_________________________
Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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#1134103 - 02/13/06 03:09 PM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
Johnny-Boy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 661
Loc: PA
That was just plum silly. :rolleyes:

John
_________________________
Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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#1134104 - 02/17/06 05:25 AM Re: Perfect Pitch!!!
swingal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 1094
Loc: England
You can read a further discussion on this topic on the 'Piano Forum.

I think in total this is a waste of time as few people can explain what they are mentally capable of. Me included. I just know I can follow along to a recording of a piece of piano or other music and get it correct on my piano which is to A 440 being brand new and tuned 3 times in a year. This is with my mental/subconscious understanding of sounds and tone of a piano keyboard. That is a 'absolute' fact!

Alan

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