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#1135710 - 02/05/09 06:44 PM What Famous Pianists Had Perfect Pitch?
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
I have to admit, I am a bit envious of any pianist, classical or jazz who has perfect or absolute pitch. Personally, 3 of my teachers had perfect pitch and 2-3 students I had in the past also had the "gift." I tested them and sure enough, they passed the test.

What I am curious about is what pianists, past and present have/had perfect pitch.

The list I know of is: Oscar Peterson, Keith Jarrett, Mozart, Mike Garson, hmmm, guess that's about the only ones I know who are "certified."

One teacher told me that having perfect pitch was sometimes a hinderance if the piano was out of tune which drove her a little nuts I'm sure and especially when she had to transpose songs for singers, because she would see and hear the original key in her head.

Now of course many fine musicians don't have perfect pitch and develop their relative pitch through ear training. I was always in awe of musicians with perfect pitch and don't understand it and some of them say they don't understand how or why they can hear tones and know exactly what note it is.

If anyone here has perfect pitch, I would be interested in learning about how it helps you or hinders you because of instruments out of tune, etc.

Thanks katt

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Piano & Music Accessories
#1135711 - 02/05/09 07:19 PM Re: What Famous Pianists Had Perfect Pitch?
waldstein11448998 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/15/08
Posts: 130
Loc: Connecticut
I have perfect pitch. It helped me get an easy "A" in sight singing class, and I suppose that it helps me to some degree with improvisation. But I think that it's more important to have good relative pitch.

Pefect pitch kind of messes me up when I have to read the music of transposing instruments, such as the trumpet, clarinet, saxophone, or french horn. In order to hear them in the proper key I need to transpose them to different clefs. That's why I'm glad that I play the trombone and piano - no need to transpose!

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#1135712 - 02/05/09 07:26 PM Re: What Famous Pianists Had Perfect Pitch?
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
Wald, that's quite interesting that PP can sometimes be a hinderance. Since I play mainly jazz, when improvising, I will hear notes exactly in tone and key before I play them, but only on the piano when I'm playing and this is possible.

I have read about courses online that claim they can teach anyone to develop PP, however, I am a bit skeptical if PP is something that can be taught or learned from scratch.

katt

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#1135713 - 02/05/09 07:30 PM Re: What Famous Pianists Had Perfect Pitch?
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
A note to add, I talked to Oscar Peterson for a few minutes back in the 70's and told him I heard that he possessed PP. He said he did, but again, transposing songs and out of tune pianos were a bit of a hinderance.

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#1135714 - 02/05/09 08:20 PM Re: What Famous Pianists Had Perfect Pitch?
Devane Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 403
Loc: Ireland
I have AP.

The only thing I used to notice is when I play an interval of an octave is it sounded strange/felt empty. The reason is simple though once you understand what is going on. The chroma of the note doesn't change in this case but with any other intervals you're fine. I don't notice it now.

I don't know of any advantage this is in relation to a musical advantage. Music works by relative pitch.

I'll pm you a link to a certain AP which lists a few names. I would not promote these sites because they claim to achieve the impossible.
_________________________
Say it to my face! wink
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0b9rOji_PWY

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#1135715 - 02/05/09 10:24 PM Re: What Famous Pianists Had Perfect Pitch?
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
 Quote:
Originally posted by nitekatt2008z:
A note to add, I talked to Oscar Peterson for a few minutes back in the 70's and told him I heard that he possessed PP. He said he did, but again, transposing songs and out of tune pianos were a bit of a hinderance. [/b]
How was meeting God?

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#1135716 - 02/06/09 01:14 AM Re: What Famous Pianists Had Perfect Pitch?
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
Hehe Debussy. Yes Meeting "the great one" OP made my whole day. I met him at Berklee in the 70's when he came over to the school to speak to all of us that could fit into the auditorium. I actually was waiting for the elevator to go up to practice, the door opened and standing there bigger than life, my all time idol on jazz piano, Oscar P. I'm lke 5'10 and he was like looking up at Mt Everest, incredible charisma and energy.

And honestly, I really miss him, but thanks to youtube, he is alive and cookin' I had wished for a long time to get a lesson with him, but that never worked out. I can tell you though that hearing OP speak to us that afternoon inspired us all. He took time for question and answer and he played "Who Can I Turn To." About a dozen of us piano students circled him before he left the piano, and someone asked OP, "sir, can you show us something," and he did in fact demonstrate a unique voicings technique that has us all stumped.

I can tell you that OP was a real gentleman, was humble, with no edge or attitude, but confident in his wealth of understanding of jazz and classical music, especially Bach, which he spent a lot of time playing through WTC Bk I.

Yes, Oscar P, one of a kind

katt

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#1135717 - 02/06/09 01:31 AM Re: What Famous Pianists Had Perfect Pitch?
hmhcho Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/09
Posts: 48
Loc: Richmond, BC
 Quote:
Originally posted by Debussy20:
 Quote:
Originally posted by nitekatt2008z:
A note to add, I talked to Oscar Peterson for a few minutes back in the 70's and told him I heard that he possessed PP. He said he did, but again, transposing songs and out of tune pianos were a bit of a hinderance. [/b]
How was meeting God? [/b]
I thought Art Tatum was the acknowledged, one true God. I think Oscar Peterson, himself, may have asserted this.

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#1135718 - 02/06/09 01:59 AM Re: What Famous Pianists Had Perfect Pitch?
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
You may be right on that one, however, I never met Tatum, who I think Fats Waller announced that he was just a piano player, then Tatum entered the club and Fats said "but God is in the house tonight." I have to say though that OP was probably the closest technically to Tatum and he was good friends with him and learned a lot jsut hanging out with Art.

katt

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#1135719 - 02/06/09 02:13 AM Re: What Famous Pianists Had Perfect Pitch?
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
I forgot to mention that Tatum was noted to be more at ease playing solo piano, whereas Oscar could play solo or really swing with a trio, bass/drums or with Joe Pass/Herb Ellis. Not sure if Tatum accompanied singers which Oscar did, Ella for instance. Oscar did some cool albums with full orchestra and worked with the great arranger Claus Ogerman. But between the 2 great pianists, I listen to Oscar the most, as his style was more bluesy and modern, to my ears anyway.

I think Oscar mentioned when he did NPR Pinao Jazz with Marian McPartland, that he made the decision that he was not going to be a Tatum "clone" and worked to develop his own style and identity.

katt

katt

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#1135720 - 02/06/09 05:10 PM Re: What Famous Pianists Had Perfect Pitch?
delirium Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/19/07
Posts: 23
You can develop "perfect" pitch, I did it and when I spoke with Bach he admitted it's possible but relative pitch far more important fro playing.
You have to learn to listen to a sound, it's a little bit like with colors. Also it's never perfect, you can be off sometimes but quarter tone or even half, when you got cold for instance etc.

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#1135721 - 02/06/09 10:26 PM Re: What Famous Pianists Had Perfect Pitch?
Jazz+ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 838
Loc: Banned
Erroll Garner
_________________________
Roland FP-4 digital piano, Mason & Hamlin acoustic piano.

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#1135722 - 02/09/09 08:04 AM Re: What Famous Pianists Had Perfect Pitch?
AD Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 193
http://www.perfectpitchpeople.com/


On Tatum:
"Milt Hinton said of him: 'I marveled at what Slam [Stewart] did with him ... know at the Three Deuces, 1935, '36, when I was out there. I just wasn't up to playing all those changes that he [Art] played, you know'. Grimes remembered: 'The arguments he [Art] and Slam had were funny to me. They both had perfect pitch. You could hit on a glass, and they'd tell you what note it was, or what notes it was between. They would get into arguments about things like that, but all in fun. Because Slam had that perfect ear, Tatum couldn't lose him'."
_________________________
-----------
Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong,
And I am Marie of Romania.

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#1135723 - 02/09/09 08:17 AM Re: What Famous Pianists Had Perfect Pitch?
galex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/15/08
Posts: 173
Loc: on the run
 Quote:
Originally posted by delirium:
You can develop "perfect" pitch, I did it and when I spoke with Bach[/b] he admitted it's possible but relative pitch far more important fro playing.
You have to learn to listen to a sound, it's a little bit like with colors. Also it's never perfect, you can be off sometimes but quarter tone or even half, when you got cold for instance etc. [/b]
You spoke with.. who?
Oh, and here's a question about music and colors: do people who have some form of synesthesia also have perfect pitch?
_________________________
By the rivers of alcohol..

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#1135724 - 02/09/09 11:11 AM Re: What Famous Pianists Had Perfect Pitch?
Devane Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 403
Loc: Ireland
 Quote:
Originally posted by delirium:
You can develop "perfect" pitch, I did it and when I spoke with Bach he admitted it's possible but relative pitch far more important fro playing.
You have to learn to listen to a sound, it's a little bit like with colours. Also it's never perfect, you can be off sometimes but quarter tone or even half, when you got cold for instance etc. [/b]
 Quote:
Originally posted by galex:
You spoke with.. who?
[/b]
Yes, that's is what I was thinking. There are two claims mentioned here. AP can be taught and time-travel is possible. Time-travel being the most realistic.

If you are a time-traveller can you tell me what the smoke-monster is in "Lost". [/b] \:D

The description of AP not being perfect is accurate. You're not memorising frequencies. If you are, well.......


There is a song you can learn ;\)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YcYPjO-Nac


 Quote:
Originally posted by galex:


Oh, and here's a question about music and colors: do people who have some form of synesthesia also have perfect pitch? [/b]
This is a very interesting question.

One would assume that if you hear a note and it has a constant corresponding colour? So this will make it easy but my question would be.....


If you hear a "C" and also see "Red". What colour would a "C" an octave higher or lower be? Is it the same colour or different?

and

If the colours are the same, can you hear the notes being similar or it it just a visual thing?


This lady has all her senses fused. She see intervals too.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1R_A4tUMOtI&feature=related

I'm sure the song "sing a rainbow" annoys the hell out of them.
_________________________
Say it to my face! wink
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0b9rOji_PWY

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#1135725 - 02/10/09 08:25 AM Re: What Famous Pianists Had Perfect Pitch?
delirium Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/19/07
Posts: 23
 Quote:
There are two claims mentioned here. AP can be taught and time-travel is possible. Time-travel being the most realistic.
Devane, just because you cannot learn something don't assume it cannot be taught.

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#1135726 - 02/10/09 08:58 AM Re: What Famous Pianists Had Perfect Pitch?
galex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/15/08
Posts: 173
Loc: on the run
It was not the point of teaching perfect pitch or not. It's the problem of who did you claim told you that? [ bach? o.O ]
_________________________
By the rivers of alcohol..

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#1135727 - 02/10/09 09:57 AM Re: What Famous Pianists Had Perfect Pitch?
Devane Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 403
Loc: Ireland
_________________________
Say it to my face! wink
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0b9rOji_PWY

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#1135728 - 02/10/09 10:10 AM Re: What Famous Pianists Had Perfect Pitch?
Devane Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 403
Loc: Ireland
Ok,back on topic. Since the link I didn't want to post is up now I'll refer to it ( I really like his RP though). Some names from the list..

Mozart, Claudio Arrau, Ludwig van Beethoven, Chopin, Fryderyk , Artur Rubinstein,Glenn Gould, Martha Argerich.
I'll add Lang Lang. Some interview I read last summer stated it.

All the AP sites do this. Hoping that people will correlate that AP was a factor for their success. Early exposure/training to music is the primary factor associated with AP (though tonal languages also help too).

When do think most of these people or most professional pianists started playing? It is not a surprise to get good figures here but it is unfair to point out that this is 100% because there are non-AP profession pianists/composers about and rightly so. How AP is critical or even an advantage is a mystery.

Where is the list of non-AP pianists? You could produce one just as good.
_________________________
Say it to my face! wink
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0b9rOji_PWY

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#1135729 - 02/10/09 10:36 AM Re: What Famous Pianists Had Perfect Pitch?
delirium Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/19/07
Posts: 23
that's the whole misconception about that subject,
it's not something that you have to be taught but your ear has to be un-taught what it was doing.
Another misconception is that your ability to learn decrease with age, it's bulsh@t - with brain one rule counts: use it or lose it. Most people when older simply stop learning because of their busy life and that's the only reason.

Regarding so called "studies" come on...I can bring up here hundreds of studies on hundreds subjects that were thought impossible yet some guys who don't like to be told what can be done or not simple did it.

But it is almost impossible what you're saying:
"You can memorise all the pitches". That would be silly even to try...we're not robots.

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#1135730 - 02/10/09 02:20 PM Re: What Famous Pianists Had Perfect Pitch?
Devane Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 403
Loc: Ireland
 Quote:
Originally posted by delirium:

that's the whole misconception about that subject,
[/b]
Yes, what it is, how it works, the factors into acquiring it, thinking that is music-teaching exclusive subject, the biological truth of brain development etc

 Quote:
Originally posted by delirium:

it's not something that you have to be taught but your ear has to be un-taught what it was doing.
[/b]
Yes, but there is no evidence that this can be done.

This is David Lucas Burge's idea. His explanation of what AP is the best I have seen (on AP sites) but making your brain pay attention to something that the brain has chosen to cancel out years before is a bold claim.

Daniel Levitin
"I'm concerned about the statement in the article that "Independent research at Ohio State University and the University of Calgary demonstrated statistically significant improvements in absolute pitch skills among students using a perfect pitch method by David Lucas Burge. [10]. " This is straight out of Burge's training materials, but I've read those two reports carefully and they do NOT show that absolute pitch can be learned[/b], as Burge has claimed. I know this is rash, but I'm going to take down that claim later this week unless there are any objections."


I don't see of any courses teaching me to hear close "echoes".The Brain cancels that out for us too.

This is the reality of it.[/b]
Professor Allan Snyder's way....


If you want to achieve AP, dull your left brain with a huge electromagnet for 15 mins
Considering these scientists are using a powerful electromagnet[/b] on your brain to achieve a temporary condition[/b] (around 2 hours) on your left brain comprised demonstrates what these AP courses must do.........the impossible.

The scientist's solution is a machine, something we know does something. Why did they not spend $100 on a AP course instead? To get a positive result maybe.

 Quote:
Originally posted by delirium:


Another misconception is that your ability to learn decrease with age, it's bulsh@t - with brain one rule counts: use it or lose it. Most people when older simply stop learning because of their busy life and that's the only reason.
[/b]
This doesn't apply though. In this instance anybody over the age of 8 is an old fogey. The brain has changed.

 Quote:
Originally posted by delirium:

Regarding so called "studies" come on...I can bring up here hundreds of studies on hundreds subjects that were thought impossible yet some guys who don't like to be told what can be done or not simple did it.
[/b]
Personal feelings about the evidence is irrelevant. These studies have not been challenged. Non-AP studies say the same thing about brain development and language development . If such a study disproving the hundreds of other neurological studies does indeed exist it would be peer-reviewed and major medical advances will happen. The whole world would like to see it. The fact that the brain goes through stages of development and has critical windows is fact. These are not some social science papers that have their results discussed on breakfast radio. This argument isn't a matter exclusive to AP courses. It is a neurological issue.

Articles from AP Sites and their interpretation about the scientific evidence is why I attack the BS they spew. I would say the same about alternative medicine, psychics etc. It's based on BS to make money.

I would group these AP courses with "unleash your psychic potential" books. :p An even bigger money making scheme.


 Quote:
Originally posted by delirium:

But it is almost impossible what you're saying:
"You can memorise all the pitches". That would be silly even to try...we're not robots.
[/b]
You mis-understood me. I should have expanded. I meant "you can" if you want to go down that long, tiresome and pointless route. If I didn't have AP I would not spend hours upon hours doing this. Since AP's place in music isn't important. Working on RP or other ear training skills like sense of rhythm is what I would work on. AP's rareness is why people want it.

Memorising is what people do in most of these courses. There is evidence to support that memory for pitches can be quite accurate but you also have to remember that memory isn't perfect. Memorising a few anchor notes couldn't be that difficult. But all the notes! In fact this is a common misconception of what AP is...a memory of pitches. All this "the note is off by 2 hertz and it hurts my ears". :rolleyes: I have great experiment to disprove this apparent agony they claim to have. But that's another subject. I appear nasty enough already.

When you have AP all you need to do is memorise 12 chroma (the note name)if you want to name all the notes. Without memorising at all, not even know a note name you can test someone by playing a note and getting them to match another note with the same chroma. That is how I was tested. If a tuner set up a 8 note octave system instead of 12 you could still match octaves. It would throw off the memorisers.

Don't get me wrong.If someone goes to these great lengths and find it of use, good luck to them. But this isn't AP no matter who told them it is. So don't bother contacting Gottfried Schlaug, Daniel Leviten etc

Like the end of a previous post. Get that big fat "zero"[/b] up into interesting figures and then there is room for debate. And don't tell me, tell the scientists. You might get famous. ;\)
_________________________
Say it to my face! wink
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0b9rOji_PWY

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#1135731 - 02/20/09 07:39 PM Re: What Famous Pianists Had Perfect Pitch?
Wilson Fraz√£o Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 24
Loc: Portugal
Relative pitch it's the best...a good trained relative pitch...
_________________________
"Music is the most physically inspiring of all the arts." - Frank Zappa

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#1135732 - 02/21/09 03:28 PM Re: What Famous Pianists Had Perfect Pitch?
swingal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 1094
Loc: England
I was told that I had absolute pitch. If one plays by ear then you either get the 'song' correct or you are incorrect. The first requirement. Secondly it is more important to know what note you should play wether of not the piano is up to pitch. A semitone out is no good. I find the piano loses pitch when due for tuning, simple but its surprising how many people get the pitch thing wrong.I find just one note out of pitch and that is enough for a tune up. In my case, as I cannot read music I have to rely on pitch and recognition of the piano and all the 88? notes. This is not difficult if done that way from your first teaching at the lowest age possible ! My mother showed me how and I never forgot what a gift she gave me.

Alan (swingal)

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