Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 >
Topic Options
#1808085 - 12/18/11 01:18 PM Perfect Pitch - What are the odds?
music producer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/14/11
Posts: 13
I have absolute pitch, and I find it kinda crazy that as the new music director for a small church in our rural area, it turns out the pastor has it as well! Just found it out yesterday at a choir practice...

Top
Ad 800 (Pearl River)
Pearl River World's Best Selling Piano
#1808090 - 12/18/11 01:33 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4794
Loc: Seattle area, WA
I don't know the odds but I'm curious how you found out.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

Top
#1808103 - 12/18/11 01:59 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
jnod Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/09
Posts: 794
Loc: Toronto
The odds are pretty low I think. There are some little online tests you can do that will give you a rough idea of your comparative sense of absolute and relative pitch. Relative pitch is much more common and is highly trainable. No so clear whether absolute pitch can be trained without some hefty genetic input.
_________________________
Justin
-------
Bach English Suite #5
Scarlatti Sonata K141 . L422
Mozart Sonata K333
Schubert Impromptu opus 90 D899
Schubert Moment Musicaux opus 94 D780

Top
#1808144 - 12/18/11 03:06 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6098
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Some say 1:10,000, but we thought there might be more hope here in a recent thread...

Here is a test...
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


Top
#1808164 - 12/18/11 03:49 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
fledgehog Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 273
Loc: West Hartford, CT
in a music-oriented setting you're far more likely to run into other people with perfect pitch. In my high school I wasn't aware of anyone else who had it, but in college (music conservatory), i know a handful of kids who do, and so far i've had two ear training professors and a theory professor with perfect pitch.

Top
#1808490 - 12/19/11 06:31 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
I've always thought that true perfect pitch (i.e., an ability to identify the exact note on any instrument) is vanishingly rare. In nearly forty years of playing music I've met one person with that particular gift. I've met a handful who can reliably identify exact notes on their own instrument. In such cases, my feeling has been that what these people are identifying is subtle pitch-related variations in timbre, not pitch as such.

However, other contributors on this forum have shown me good research evidence that true perfect pitch might be much more common that I though -- particular among Asian people.

So this seems to me to be any open question.

Top
#1808513 - 12/19/11 08:18 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: kevinb]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3564
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: kevinb
I've always thought that true perfect pitch (i.e., an ability to identify the exact note on any instrument) is vanishingly rare. In nearly forty years of playing music I've met one person with that particular gift. I've met a handful who can reliably identify exact notes on their own instrument. In such cases, my feeling has been that what these people are identifying is subtle pitch-related variations in timbre, not pitch as such.



I've met at least a dozen people with perfect pitch during my studies. I don't consider it to be particularly special, nor could I definitively link it with super musical abilities. Some were technically strong performers, some weren't. It's not as rare as one might think. At any decent music college, you would find several students with perfect pitch. It's generally the product of starting musical education at a very young age (usually age 3 or earlier), but sometimes later. For people who start this early, I don't believe it is very rare at all.

Top
#1808517 - 12/19/11 08:46 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
Gerard12 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/10
Posts: 757
Loc: South Carolina
I find that just about all of the musicians that I work with in the jazz arena have perfect pitch. In the classical realm, I find that singers, string players, and conductors are more apt to have it.

Regardless, many of them claim that it is something that we allow ourselves to have. Though, I suspect that many of the jazzers pick it up by osmosis: Many of them don't read music that well and after years of trial and error and concentration (for some), are able to pick up everything by ear.

I find it odd that my own sense of pitch works best with softer sounds, but as the volume increases I'm less accurate - I can be off as much as a whole step in really loud situations.
_________________________
Piano performance and instruction (former college music professor).

Top
#1808594 - 12/19/11 12:00 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
rob.art Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/11
Posts: 187
firstly nothing is perfect, secondly - almost anybody can have perfect pitch if he/she really wanted to.

Top
#1808595 - 12/19/11 12:02 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1345
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
that's a myth
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

https://soundcloud.com/chrisb/sets
https://www.youtube.com/user/djboing/videos

Top
#1808618 - 12/19/11 12:46 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
Maxtor Offline

Bronze Supporter until Jan 01 2013


Registered: 08/14/11
Posts: 182
It's possible, but also compare it to a concept like "perfect color recognition", and consider how much the brain tricks most people. For example, everyone will see a ripe banana as yellow, no matter what brightness and shade of light it is in. However, the actual color perceived by the eyes may be very different, and could be more green or blue than yellow; but the brain knows bananas and thus makes it yellow. The clearest test of this was a fruit basket in front of a tile wall in which the tiles exactly matched the different colors of the fruits; it's fascinating to watch the tiles change colors as the light was filtered in different ways, while the fruit didn't seem to change.
There is a culture that names colors based on hues and shades, rather than what we consider "colors" (we use the wavelength of the light). They may see sky blue and gold as virtually the same color, while we perceive a huge difference. On the other hand, they can tell the difference between the different shades of blue and aqua easily, while we have more difficulty. I think this was part of a BBC documentary a few months ago (you could compare it to the difference between recognizing pitch versus recognizing chords). Try finding the colors brown or gray in the wavelight spectrum; you won't find them, but the brain manages to create them.
Finally, when you see at night, your eyes are detecting more in black and white than in color, because a different type of cell is better for night vision.

Interestingly, smells can be recognized and remembered relatively clearly by a significant portion of the population. The BBC also recently did a documentary about perfume and cologne designers, and some of them memorize thousands of chemicals that humans can identify by smell. However, this involves identifying a chemical compound, whereas a musical pitch is a very different thing.


I think it's easier to recognize pitch if I have some type of reference. For example, I know the pitch I speak at in normal conversation. For someone with absolute pitch, I'm curious if they learned how frequencies resonate within their ear, and can make a good initial judgement based on that. Give them a pitch made by a screwed up sine wave and see how well they identify it.

Top
#1808624 - 12/19/11 12:53 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: chrisbell]
rob.art Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/11
Posts: 187
Originally Posted By: chrisbell
that's a myth


yes, it's a myth that you either have it or not.
consider this:




you just have to rediscover child like listening to music.

Top
#1808628 - 12/19/11 01:04 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2079
I don't have perfect pitch, but I've gotten better, or 'closer' to having it. When I go to the piano each day, before playing, I always hum what I think to be middle C. About 50 percent of the time, I'm right on it. I'm never above it, and I don't think I've been more than a half step flat for a long time.

That's better than what I used to be able to manage. I think that what has helped is working on pieces in all the twelve keys, and practicing a lot (more than two hours on many or most days).

Practicing the very same piece (not practicing different pieces in different keys) in all the twelve keys helps to get your brain to differentiate the characters of the different keys. I hope to eventually have perfect pitch, but honing my relative pitch abilities is more important and my first priority.
_________________________
Charles Lang
Working on: A Night in Tunisia; Memories of Tomorrow (Keith Jarrett).
Just started: Brazilian Like (Michel Petrucciani)

Baldwin Model R (1974), Hardman 5'9" grand (1915), Rieger-Kloss 42.5" vertical

Top
#1808631 - 12/19/11 01:12 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
jnod Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/09
Posts: 794
Loc: Toronto
People mix up perfect or absolute pitch where, with no reference you can tell what note the vacuum cleaner is making and relative pitch where you can compare an unnamed note to a named one and say what it is. The latter is common and a product of training. THe former is rare, can be assisted by training but not necessarily.
_________________________
Justin
-------
Bach English Suite #5
Scarlatti Sonata K141 . L422
Mozart Sonata K333
Schubert Impromptu opus 90 D899
Schubert Moment Musicaux opus 94 D780

Top
#1808643 - 12/19/11 01:36 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: jnod]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4794
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: jnod
People mix up perfect or absolute pitch where, with no reference you can tell what note the vacuum cleaner is making and relative pitch where you can compare an unnamed note to a named one and say what it is. The latter is common and a product of training. THe former is rare, can be assisted by training but not necessarily.
I've always wondered how much training is associated with absolute pitch. A non literate, untrained 3 year old novice who has innate absolute pitch can't possibly know what "Ab" means. Identifying note names has to be trained. Is absolute pitch then the ability to remember specific frequencies? Does being around badly tuned instruments affect the development of absolute pitch?

I also wonder if absolute pitch is an advantage or disadvantage. I definitely do not have absolute pitch but I have very good relative pitch. When I hear an instrument that is out of tune, I crawl the walls, even if it is just one instrument and one note in an orchestra. I would imagine having absolute pitch would make this even more torturous.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

Top
#1808647 - 12/19/11 01:38 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
cinstance Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 104
My son can tell every note's name out of up to 5 keys played simultaneously, while I would not even be able to tell how many notes were played smile. That's something I called absolute pitch. We found it out at about month two since he started piano study. He could easily tell the key signature of a music played by the end of the first measure, which was before he even knew about all the scales. That's how we found it out.

Top
#1808651 - 12/19/11 01:45 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: fledgehog]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2313
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: fledgehog
in a music-oriented setting you're far more likely to run into other people with perfect pitch. In my high school I wasn't aware of anyone else who had it, but in college (music conservatory), i know a handful of kids who do, and so far i've had two ear training professors and a theory professor with perfect pitch.


That's just mean, someone with perfect pitch teaching ear training.. I'm picturing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar teaching a junior high class how to dunk a basketball. Unfair advantage. And for the record, I do have perfect pitch, to the point that I can identify the pitch signature of random objects and "unpitched" percussion instruments. People don't realize the extent to which music is literally everywhere..

Top
#1808672 - 12/19/11 02:24 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: ChopinAddict]
GradedPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/11
Posts: 123
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Some say 1:10,000, but we thought there might be more hope here in a recent thread...

Here is a test...


i got 0/12

Top
#1808711 - 12/19/11 03:02 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: rob.art]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5461
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: rob.art
Originally Posted By: chrisbell
that's a myth


yes, it's a myth that you either have it or not.
consider this:




you just have to rediscover child like listening to music.



What is the point of this post???
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1808777 - 12/19/11 04:20 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: AZNpiano]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1485
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: rob.art
Originally Posted By: chrisbell
that's a myth


yes, it's a myth that you either have it or not.
consider this:




you just have to rediscover child like listening to music.





What is the point of this post???


I think what he meant is that you can re-learn everything. If now you are a baby, and are taught the word red means blue, you will be able to do it.


I used to teach many kids when I just got off of the boat. I noticed some kids could become perfect pitch within 2 months of learning to play piano, some would take several years, and some just were never able. To be honest, I think one must have the gene first. I think it is the same like color blind people. If you are color blind, no matter how much you practice, you won't be able to see the color.

Top
#1808783 - 12/19/11 04:29 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: RonaldSteinway]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5461
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
I think what he meant is that you can re-learn everything. If now you are a baby, and are taught the word red means blue, you will be able to do it.


Really? I think it's supposed to be one of those quasi-psychological tests, telling you to name the color in which the word is written instead of reading the actual words "red" and "blue." When you have to do ten of those mismatched color/words, you're bound to make a few errors, because our brains have been wired to read words, not tell the color of words.

I just don't get what that has anything to do with perfect pitch.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1808787 - 12/19/11 04:32 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
Devane Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 403
Loc: Ireland

Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Some say 1:10,000, but we thought there might be more hope here in a recent thread...

Here is a test...


Any site selling AP courses no doubt sell ashtrays for your motorbike, DVD rewinders and all other pointless products. One site gives 60% commission for people to link to their site. $53.23 a sale. You could earn $1,916,280.00 a year. Not available in the shops. When you get it you’ll know why.


1 in 10,000?
"However, this is an unreliable estimate without any empirical evidence and is likely to be cited to overstate the rarity of AP"
Ken’ichi Miyazaki - How well do we understand Absolute Pitch (2004)

The figure 1 in 10,000 is a general population guesstimate (from Ward, W.D. (1999) Absolute pitch.) This figure would derive from a guess of what percentage of children play an instrument starting within the critical period. When you look at direct figures in the relevant subset (young musicians) it’s about 1,000 times less rare.

Originally Posted By: fledgehog
in a music-oriented setting you're far more likely to run into other people with perfect pitch.


Yes. If you look in the appropriate place you’ll not only find them but statistically they’re not rare. There are conditions that influence the likelihood of retaining AP.


Professor Oliver Sacks posted the whole chapter from his book “Musicophilia”. Feel free to look up the authors mentioned within the article.

"For students who had begun musical training between ages four and five," they wrote, "approximately 60 percent of the Chinese students met the criterion for absolute pitch, while only about 14 percent of the U.S. nontone language speakers met the criterion.” For those who had begun musical training at age six or seven, the numbers in both groups were correspondingly lower, about 55 percent and 6 percent. And for students who had begun musical training later still, at age eight or nine, roughly 42 percent of the Chinese students met the criterion while none of the U.S. nontone language speakers did so. There were no differences between genders in either group.
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/alumni/Magazine/Fall2007/PitchPerfectMatch.html

So at best (age 4 or 5) given the prerequisite conditions, 14% for non-tonal speakers and 60% for tonal-language speakers. After that, the figures drop. The non-tonal speakers plummet.


Documented number of Adults learning AP? Zero

"In every scientifically documented case, the adult had slower responses, suggesting that (s)he had learned only a few "landmark" tones, and was using relative pitch to calculate the remaining pitches from there. This is what Bachem (1954), Ward (1982) and others have called pseudo-absolute pitch. I am emphatically NOT saying that Stephen is mistaken, and I am NOT saying that adults cannot learn AP; rather, I am saying that there are no scientifically documented cases of adults learning AP."
Daniel Levitin
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Absolute_pitch&oldid=302937570


At least get that zero figure a little higher before you spend your time and money on a pointless endeavour.
_________________________
Say it to my face! wink
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0b9rOji_PWY

Top
#1808791 - 12/19/11 04:40 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: RonaldSteinway]
rob.art Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/11
Posts: 187
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: rob.art
Originally Posted By: chrisbell
that's a myth


yes, it's a myth that you either have it or not.
consider this:




you just have to rediscover child like listening to music.





What is the point of this post???


I think what he meant is that you can re-learn everything. If now you are a baby, and are taught the word red means blue, you will be able to do it.


I used to teach many kids when I just got off of the boat. I noticed some kids could become perfect pitch within 2 months of learning to play piano, some would take several years, and some just were never able. To be honest, I think one must have the gene first. I think it is the same like color blind people. If you are color blind, no matter how much you practice, you won't be able to see the color.


yes, more or less what I meant and I agree, not all people will be able to re-learn but if you tone dead you shouldn't be seeking carrier in music anyway smile

Top
#1808793 - 12/19/11 04:43 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: AZNpiano]
rob.art Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/11
Posts: 187
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

I just don't get what that has anything to do with perfect pitch.


that's why you won't get it...

Top
#1808799 - 12/19/11 04:53 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: rob.art]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5461
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: rob.art
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

I just don't get what that has anything to do with perfect pitch.


that's why you won't get it...


Get what??? What's "it"??

Please write clearly if you wish to engage in an intellectual discussion.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1808800 - 12/19/11 04:55 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: rob.art]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5924
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: rob.art
I agree, not all people will be able to re-learn but if you tone dead you shouldn't be seeking carrier in music anyway smile
Huh? You're saying people who don't have absolute pitch are "tone dead"? (or "tone deaf", if that's what you meant) Sounds like you don't know much about relative pitch.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

Top
#1808802 - 12/19/11 04:57 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: gooddog]
jnod Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/09
Posts: 794
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: gooddog
A non literate, untrained 3 year old novice who has innate absolute pitch can't possibly know what "Ab" means. Identifying note names has to be trained. Is absolute pitch then the ability to remember specific frequencies? Does being around badly tuned instruments affect the development of absolute pitch?

I also wonder if absolute pitch is an advantage or disadvantage. I definitely do not have absolute pitch but I have very good relative pitch. When I hear an instrument that is out of tune, I crawl the walls, even if it is just one instrument and one note in an orchestra. I would imagine having absolute pitch would make this even more torturous.


Now that's a question - for that matter, is perfect pitch at European, American or Baroque frequency? I forget what they are but they're all different. Ditto for me on the 'one instrument out of tune' allergy and I think that's a classic relative pitch thing. I mean, the frame of reference is clear: first desk second violin is out of tune relative to the rest of the orchestra not the other way around....
_________________________
Justin
-------
Bach English Suite #5
Scarlatti Sonata K141 . L422
Mozart Sonata K333
Schubert Impromptu opus 90 D899
Schubert Moment Musicaux opus 94 D780

Top
#1808805 - 12/19/11 04:59 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: Devane]
cinstance Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 104
Originally Posted By: Devane

Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Some say 1:10,000, but we thought there might be more hope here in a recent thread...

Here is a test...


Any site selling AP courses no doubt sell ashtrays for your motorbike, DVD rewinders and all other pointless products. One site gives 60% commission for people to link to their site. $53.23 a sale. You could earn $1,916,280.00 a year. Not available in the shops. When you get it you’ll know why.


1 in 10,000?
"However, this is an unreliable estimate without any empirical evidence and is likely to be cited to overstate the rarity of AP"
Ken’ichi Miyazaki - How well do we understand Absolute Pitch (2004)

The figure 1 in 10,000 is a general population guesstimate (from Ward, W.D. (1999) Absolute pitch.) This figure would derive from a guess of what percentage of children play an instrument starting within the critical period. When you look at direct figures in the relevant subset (young musicians) it’s about 1,000 times less rare.

Originally Posted By: fledgehog
in a music-oriented setting you're far more likely to run into other people with perfect pitch.


Yes. If you look in the appropriate place you’ll not only find them but statistically they’re not rare. There are conditions that influence the likelihood of retaining AP.


Professor Oliver Sacks posted the whole chapter from his book “Musicophilia”. Feel free to look up the authors mentioned within the article.

"For students who had begun musical training between ages four and five," they wrote, "approximately 60 percent of the Chinese students met the criterion for absolute pitch, while only about 14 percent of the U.S. nontone language speakers met the criterion.” For those who had begun musical training at age six or seven, the numbers in both groups were correspondingly lower, about 55 percent and 6 percent. And for students who had begun musical training later still, at age eight or nine, roughly 42 percent of the Chinese students met the criterion while none of the U.S. nontone language speakers did so. There were no differences between genders in either group.
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/alumni/Magazine/Fall2007/PitchPerfectMatch.html

So at best (age 4 or 5) given the prerequisite conditions, 14% for non-tonal speakers and 60% for tonal-language speakers. After that, the figures drop. The non-tonal speakers plummet.


Documented number of Adults learning AP? Zero

"In every scientifically documented case, the adult had slower responses, suggesting that (s)he had learned only a few "landmark" tones, and was using relative pitch to calculate the remaining pitches from there. This is what Bachem (1954), Ward (1982) and others have called pseudo-absolute pitch. I am emphatically NOT saying that Stephen is mistaken, and I am NOT saying that adults cannot learn AP; rather, I am saying that there are no scientifically documented cases of adults learning AP."
Daniel Levitin
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Absolute_pitch&oldid=302937570


At least get that zero figure a little higher before you spend your time and money on a pointless endeavour.


The data for Chinese student is far from the reality. In the community I live, There are nearly 50 Chinese speaking students, almost all of them learn instrument of some kind (mostly piano) from early age. Only two of them have absolute pitch as far as I know (it is a very tight community that I know almost every kids). I think those data might apply to the preparatory school of the Central music Conservatory, which is far different from the general Chinese student population.

Top
#1808816 - 12/19/11 05:24 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: currawong]
rob.art Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/11
Posts: 187
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: rob.art
I agree, not all people will be able to re-learn but if you tone dead you shouldn't be seeking carrier in music anyway smile
Huh? You're saying people who don't have absolute pitch are "tone dead"? (or "tone deaf", if that's what you meant) Sounds like you don't know much about relative pitch.




ok, I'm outta this thread.

Top
#1808819 - 12/19/11 05:30 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
Devane Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 403
Loc: Ireland
Originally Posted By: kevinb
In such cases, my feeling has been that what these people are identifying is subtle pitch-related variations in timbre, not pitch as such.

Yes. AP seems to be dependent on specific instruments. I don’t recall any experiment on non-musical instruments though some people can do this. You’re likely to get a huge failure rate with nothing interesting to derive from it.

"The accuracy of AP identification is dependent on the
timbre of the tones to be identified
."
Ken’ichi Miyazaki


When I hear an “A” , I identify it by its sound. “A” sounds like all the other “A’s” . The texture/chroma/colour is dependent on the frequency. It’s a repeating spectrum.

This mechanism is why when you have AP you are prone to errors.
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1728061/1.html

Why memorizing notes frequencies is not AP

It is not pitch height (octave placement) but pitch class (musical characteristics of a scale tone within an octave) that AP listeners perceive directly. It is assumed that AP listeners adopt the two-stage process in which they identify pitch class of the presented tone and
then locate its octave position. By contrast, people having no AP are insensitive to pitch class but are able to classify tones into rough pitch categories in terms of timbral
characteristics correlated with positions in the frequency continuum. AP listeners and non-AP listeners seem to be equivalent in accuracy in identifying pitch height.”
http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/ast/25/6/426/_pdf
Daniel Levitin also points pitch perception being the same.

Also...

"Because the pitch of a pure tone depends on its intensity (Stevens, 1935), results of absolute pitch experiments using pure tones should be interpreted with caution."
http://www.uni-graz.at/richard.parncutt/publications/PaLe01_GroveAbsPitch.pdf
_________________________
Say it to my face! wink
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0b9rOji_PWY

Top
#1808844 - 12/19/11 06:08 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: cinstance]
Devane Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 403
Loc: Ireland
Originally Posted By: cinstance

The data for Chinese student is far from the reality. In the community I live, There are nearly 50 Chinese speaking students, almost all of them learn instrument of some kind (mostly piano) from early age. Only two of them have absolute pitch as far as I know (it is a very tight community that I know almost every kids). I think those data might apply to the preparatory school of the Central music Conservatory, which is far different from the general Chinese student population.


It shouldn't matter the skill level of the music student. It occurs spontaneously without external interference. But......

In Japanese AP papers it mentioned specific training for children. From memory it was like 50% for these non-tonal students. The author pointed out there is some prestige (misguided) into having AP and this may have an influence into getting into schools.

Would it be a leap that it could happen in China also? So maybe its skewed a little? We'll have to wait to conflicting data because I've never seen anything disproving it.

Also you have genetic studies showing an influence to the Chinese, Korean and Japanese irrespective of tonal language or environmental factors.

Its clear where to look for AP folk and the prerequisites. Measuring the strengths of some of the factors is another.

Totally irreverent to musical intelligence. These papers are filed under Neuroscience, linguistics and genetics etc grin
_________________________
Say it to my face! wink
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0b9rOji_PWY

Top
#1808856 - 12/19/11 06:31 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
Devane Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 403
Loc: Ireland
Originally Posted By: gooddog
I've always wondered how much training is associated with absolute pitch. A non literate, untrained 3 year old novice who has innate absolute pitch can't possibly know what "Ab" means. Identifying note names has to be trained. Is absolute pitch then the ability to remember specific frequencies?

I can’t find the paper at the moment but some papers will point out that the labelling happens naturally without specific training. You have until 7 or 8 to figure it out. But when you notice all that the C’s, D’s etc have the same chroma/texture it’s hardly an amazing feat to identify a note’s name.
Originally Posted By: gooddog

Does being around badly tuned instruments affect the development of absolute pitch?

If you search an AP paper with the word “error” you’ll jump to the statistical analysis of the types of errors AP folk make. With AP you are prone to a variety of errors. I vaguely remember an out of tune piano being blamed for the common G# error and compensation was made. But surely you hear other instruments other than your own?
Originally Posted By: gooddog

I also wonder if absolute pitch is an advantage or disadvantage.


Most AP papers never mention it because it is irrelevant . When it is mentioned it always in the negative. Hence the absence of studies trying the link AP to Musical Excellence. That nonsense only exists on forums and snake oil sites.

“However, contrary to the common belief that AP is a component of musical ability, it was found that AP listeners have difficulty in perceiving pitch relations in different pitch contexts, and in recognizing transposed melodies, as compared to listeners having no AP. These
results suggest that AP is irrelevant and even disadvantageous to music

Ken’ichi Miyazaki
http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/ast/25/6/426/_pdf

Sometimes regarded as a mark of musicianship, AP is in fact largely irrelevant to most musical tasks. Being unable to turn it off, many possessors of AP perform dramatically poorer at judging whether a melody and its transposed counterpart are the same, a task that non-AP musicians accomplish with ease
Daniel J. Levitin and Susan E. Rogers - Absolute pitch: perception, coding,
and controversies

Ps
Out of tune is out of tune. Who doesn’t notice it? You would notice it from the intervals?
_________________________
Say it to my face! wink
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0b9rOji_PWY

Top
#1808965 - 12/20/11 12:12 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: Devane]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5461
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Devane
Sometimes regarded as a mark of musicianship, AP is in fact largely irrelevant to most musical tasks. Being unable to turn it off, many possessors of AP perform dramatically poorer at judging whether a melody and its transposed counterpart are the same, a task that non-AP musicians accomplish with ease


Whoever wrote that doesn't really understand music, or did not major in music. Are you kidding? AP is extremely helpful. It helps with dictation, interval and chord recognition, and memory! If you have AP, once you memorize a progression of sounds/notes, your fingers actually move toward those keys naturally. You can also start playing a familiar piece/tune in the correct key without the score.

I teach kids music theory. Those with AP are at a distinct advantage. How can you (aurally) tell the different 7th chords without being able to recognize the individual notes?

When playing on a transposable keyboard, that would be a problem, because people with AP would have memorized a piece in its original key. If you just move the notes down a M2, it would cause major issues for people with AP.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1808969 - 12/20/11 12:24 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: Devane]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5461
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Devane
Most AP papers never mention it because it is irrelevant . When it is mentioned it always in the negative. Hence the absence of studies trying the link AP to Musical Excellence. That nonsense only exists on forums and snake oil sites.


It is not "nonsense" that AP is helpful. Just because there are some quacks out there claiming that they can "teach" AP does not mean that AP is not helpful.

AP is irrelevant to certain aspects of music-making (phrasing, dynamics, tone production), but it is absolutely helpful in other aspects. What's not helpful to be able to look at a chord and immediately hear it in your head and recognize its quality?

I wonder if a study has been conducted to link AP with intonation for stringed instruments. My secondary instrument is violin, and my feeling is that AP helps one play in tune.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1808978 - 12/20/11 12:58 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: AZNpiano]
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2079
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: Devane
Sometimes regarded as a mark of musicianship, AP is in fact largely irrelevant to most musical tasks. Being unable to turn it off, many possessors of AP perform dramatically poorer at judging whether a melody and its transposed counterpart are the same, a task that non-AP musicians accomplish with ease


Whoever wrote that doesn't really understand music, or did not major in music. Are you kidding? AP is extremely helpful. It helps with dictation, interval and chord recognition, and memory! If you have AP, once you memorize a progression of sounds/notes, your fingers actually move toward those keys naturally. You can also start playing a familiar piece/tune in the correct key without the score.

I teach kids music theory. Those with AP are at a distinct advantage. How can you (aurally) tell the different 7th chords without being able to recognize the individual notes?

When playing on a transposable keyboard, that would be a problem, because people with AP would have memorized a piece in its original key. If you just move the notes down a M2, it would cause major issues for people with AP.


From this I can conclude that you either have AP and don't understand how well those without AP can master the keyboard, or, if you don't have AP then you haven't mastered the keyboard very well yourself.

A person with well-practiced and learned relative pitch (with adequate exercise in all keys) only needs maybe one or two seconds to find the key of a piece they are hearing, and then their fingers move to the positions just as naturally as the AP musician. Only on the very first note will their finger not move to the very first pitch -- other than that they are as good as APers.

Those with RP can also recognize the notes in chords, once they find the key; which, again, is just a matter of finding one note to start with.
_________________________
Charles Lang
Working on: A Night in Tunisia; Memories of Tomorrow (Keith Jarrett).
Just started: Brazilian Like (Michel Petrucciani)

Baldwin Model R (1974), Hardman 5'9" grand (1915), Rieger-Kloss 42.5" vertical

Top
#1808980 - 12/20/11 01:08 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: AZNpiano]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5924
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
AP is extremely helpful. It helps with dictation, interval and chord recognition, and memory!
So does relative pitch.
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
If you have AP, once you memorize a progression of sounds/notes, your fingers actually move toward those keys naturally.
Why is that easier with AP? Once I memorise a progression of sounds/notes, my fingers move towards those keys naturally too. I'm not sure what you're saying here.
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
You can also start playing a familiar piece/tune in the correct key without the score.
Perhaps, but with relative pitch you can start playing a familiary piece/tune in any key without the score. Both useful skills, I would have thought.
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
How can you (aurally) tell the different 7th chords without being able to recognize the individual notes?
By recognising the intervals.

In my experience, people with AP have a hard time understanding how people with good RP process music. Some just can't understand how we can hear and write down notes/chords/intervals, because we do it differently to those with AP.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

Top
#1808981 - 12/20/11 01:09 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: AZNpiano]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3564
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: Devane
Sometimes regarded as a mark of musicianship, AP is in fact largely irrelevant to most musical tasks. Being unable to turn it off, many possessors of AP perform dramatically poorer at judging whether a melody and its transposed counterpart are the same, a task that non-AP musicians accomplish with ease


Whoever wrote that doesn't really understand music, or did not major in music. Are you kidding? AP is extremely helpful. It helps with dictation, interval and chord recognition, and memory! If you have AP, once you memorize a progression of sounds/notes, your fingers actually move toward those keys naturally. You can also start playing a familiar piece/tune in the correct key without the score.


Maybe, but none of those skills can't be accomplished without AP. Just because one person employs it doesn't mean others don't have an effective means of their own. It's not proof of anything other than they can name a note when they hear it and they can faithfully write down what they hear in the correct key. Not really that earth-shattering. You can write dictate a phrase, complete with modulations etc, with no trouble, AP or not. You might have to adjust the key later though. Usually when you write a piece down, you are aware of the first note and you go from there. It's inconsequential in the end. Life isn't an ongoing aural exam. You use the tools at your disposal. AP might be handy at times, but it's not a deal-breaker in any situation.

For what it's worth, when I was studying, my girlfriend who had perfect pitch struggled with aural tests a lot more than I did. It did not help with numerous tasks like transposition and even naming of extended chords. somebody with good relative pitch hears the bass note and all other notes on top of it as one big picture. People with absolute pitch don't process it this way. They tune into certain notes selectively and then work out the totality of the harmony after they have written down the notes they have heard. Where I was able to say, "thats an Amaj7b9#11" chord very quickly, she first had to run through the pitches she heard, then use theory to try and give it the correct name. There is a real difference in the way the mind processes the information when the primacy is on pitch levels rather than pitch clusters with many different intervals within them. People with good relative pitch are using very fine skills. They are able to process the "beats" between different notes and very accurately state the relationships between them. My girlfriend was extremely good at dictating melodies she heard, but wasn't as quick at transposition. Why? because she would tend to process what she heard as absolute notes with no attempt to label them for their tonal purpose. For me, I tended to listen to all notes in terms of their position in the harmony: I knew where the tonic, sub-dom, dominants, leading-tones were, etc, which made transposition much easier because all the mental work was already done. She had to go back to her perfectly dictated melody and analyse the interval structure from that.

Quote:

I teach kids music theory. Those with AP are at a distinct advantage. How can you (aurally) tell the different 7th chords without being able to recognize the individual notes?

Are you serious with that remark? I can't believe you are a teacher of aural/theory with beliefs like that. I always got 100% on all my chord/interval recognition tests. Go on: ask me how I did it. BTW, I believe that people who rely totally on AP should not be teaching aural skills. There is a definite art to teaching relative pitch. If done well, you can produce very attuned ears and minds.

Top
#1808982 - 12/20/11 01:10 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5924
Loc: Down Under
Cross-posted and agreed with charleslang smile ... and ando
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

Top
#1808988 - 12/20/11 01:29 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: currawong]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5461
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: currawong
In my experience, people with AP have a hard time understanding how people with good RP process music. Some just can't understand how we can hear and write down notes/chords/intervals, because we do it differently to those with AP.

Hey, I'm not here to bash RP!! I'm just sharing some of my thoughts coming from a person who has AP and worked with students of various levels of AP.

Maybe I just haven't worked with people with strong RP. But AP is very helpful in some aspects of music-making.

You serious about hearing intervals in various types of seventh chords? Maybe if they are all in root position, but what if the notes are spread out in open position? What do you listen for in particular? I think I posed this question before on PW and never got a satisfactory response.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1808992 - 12/20/11 01:40 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: ando]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5461
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: ando
Are you serious with that remark? I can't believe you are a teacher of aural/theory with beliefs like that. I always got 100% on all my chord/interval recognition tests. Go on: ask me how I did it. BTW, I believe that people who rely totally on AP should not be teaching aural skills. There is a definite art to teaching relative pitch. If done well, you can produce very attuned ears and minds.


Since when did my posts mean RP sucks and AP is better than RP? Don't put words in my mouth.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1808996 - 12/20/11 01:57 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: AZNpiano]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5924
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
You serious about hearing intervals in various types of seventh chords? Maybe if they are all in root position, but what if the notes are spread out in open position?
AZN, if I'm given one note, I can identify all the others, whether they're played together, separately, spread out, whatever. That's what relative pitch is - identifying notes in relation to other notes. If I know that's a B, then I hear an F and I know (straight away, just as if I had AP smile ) that it's an F.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

Top
#1808997 - 12/20/11 02:01 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: AZNpiano]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5924
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Since when did my posts mean RP sucks and AP is better than RP?
It did come across a bit like that. When you said "What's not helpful to be able to look at a chord and immediately hear it in your head and recognize its quality?" it implied that you can only do that if you have AP.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

Top
#1808999 - 12/20/11 02:07 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: currawong]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5461
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
You serious about hearing intervals in various types of seventh chords? Maybe if they are all in root position, but what if the notes are spread out in open position?
AZN, if I'm given one note, I can identify all the others, whether they're played together, separately, spread out, whatever. That's what relative pitch is - identifying notes in relation to other notes. If I know that's a B, then I hear an F and I know (straight away, just as if I had AP smile ) that it's an F.


Yes, I agree that this can be taught, when a chord is played in isolation. But what if it's a chord progression, and we're asked to find out what the fourth chord is? It's not like triads where we can have supposed "feelings" attached to the triads (major/happy, minor/sad, etc.) When I've tried that with 7th chords with my non-AP students, it's a major struggle. Dominant 7th is easy to tell, as is minor-major 7th (the ugly one). Major 7th is somewhat easy to tell. But minor 7th, diminished 7th, and half-diminished 7th are bordering on the indistinguishable. Got any tricks to teach those???
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1809002 - 12/20/11 02:13 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: currawong]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5461
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Since when did my posts mean RP sucks and AP is better than RP?
It did come across a bit like that. When you said "What's not helpful to be able to look at a chord and immediately hear it in your head and recognize its quality?" it implied that you can only do that if you have AP.


I think you're over-reading.

I was reacting to a rather inane statement that AP is "irrelevant" to music-making. Irrelevant my foot. Moreover, I didn't ask for AP. I was born with it. I am proud of it and glad I (and many of my students) have it. It is disheartening to see professional studies disregarding it as a silly biological phenomenon with nothing really useful toward Musical Excellence.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1809006 - 12/20/11 02:22 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
mric Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 63
AZNpiano - how many of your students have AP?

Top
#1809008 - 12/20/11 02:28 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: AZNpiano]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3564
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

Yes, I agree that this can be taught, when a chord is played in isolation. But what if it's a chord progression, and we're asked to find out what the fourth chord is? It's not like triads where we can have supposed "feelings" attached to the triads (major/happy, minor/sad, etc.) When I've tried that with 7th chords with my non-AP students, it's a major struggle. Dominant 7th is easy to tell, as is minor-major 7th (the ugly one). Major 7th is somewhat easy to tell. But minor 7th, diminished 7th, and half-diminished 7th are bordering on the indistinguishable. Got any tricks to teach those???


Indistinguishable??? I can hear them without even trying. It's no different to hearing basic triads. That's my job as a musician. I sometimes sit in with jazz bands and don't know any of the tunes beforehand. Once you hear a progression once, you know what the chords are and what you can play over them. They are very distinguishable. You are only confirming my belief that somebody who relies primarily on AP should not be teaching aural skills to people without AP.

Top
#1809010 - 12/20/11 02:33 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: mric]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5461
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: mric
AZNpiano - how many of your students have AP?


Past and present - 14. Plus a few parents! I actually have them take the online test and print out the results.

I've said this before. Not all of them are great musicians (two are complete duds), but most of them are, in fact, quite musical, and can learn music quickly. I know the sample size is limited and everything I see/hear is merely anecdotal, but I have a strong suspicion that AP has something to do with musicality.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1809013 - 12/20/11 02:39 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Correlation must not be mistaken for causation.

AP is usually found in people who've had very early musical training (various studies suggest that this is the case).

Early musical training usually translates to musicality (duh).

Therefore, you observe that AP possessors are highly musical and conclude that AP by itself causes people to be musical.

Hope you can see that the first sentence of this post makes sense in this context.
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
#1809014 - 12/20/11 02:40 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: ando]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5461
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: ando
Indistinguishable??? I can hear them without even trying. It's no different to hearing basic triads. That's my job as a musician. I sometimes sit in with jazz bands and don't know any of the tunes beforehand. Once you hear a progression once, you know what the chords are and what you can play over them. They are very distinguishable. You are only confirming my belief that somebody who relies primarily on AP should not be teaching aural skills to people without AP.


Hey, ando:

I have a personal suggestion for you. If you have nothing positive to say, don't say anything at all. Quit bragging about what you can do. It doesn't help anyone. How would you feel if I were to say people should not teach music UNLESS they have AP????

Now, if you have constructive ideas that one can use to teach non-AP students to hear 7th chords, I would love to hear it.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1809015 - 12/20/11 02:40 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: AZNpiano]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3564
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: ando
Are you serious with that remark? I can't believe you are a teacher of aural/theory with beliefs like that. I always got 100% on all my chord/interval recognition tests. Go on: ask me how I did it. BTW, I believe that people who rely totally on AP should not be teaching aural skills. There is a definite art to teaching relative pitch. If done well, you can produce very attuned ears and minds.


Since when did my posts mean RP sucks and AP is better than RP? Don't put words in my mouth.


I didn't say you said that RP sucks. I didn't put any words in your mouth. I was expressing my own thoughts on what you wrote. I am genuinely staggered that you can be so unaware of how things work for RP people. When you start saying that you have trouble teaching chord recognition to students without AP, I get warning bells. That means to me that you aren't teaching them to hear properly. With your AP students you are using a facility they already have (you didn't teach them AP). So all you are teaching them is how to name what they are hearing using the language of harmony.

With RP students, you have to teach them an approach to hear tonal hierarchy. It's vital that the teacher be intimately familiar with this way of thinking in order to transmit it to students. I realise you may not like hearing this, but that's how I see it. I'm not concerned for you, you are happy with your way of doing things, I'm concerned for the students who operate under your method in which you yourself claim that half-diminished chords etc are indistinguishable. You are putting forth this belief on the evidence that your students find them very hard, but to me, it's because you haven't showed them how to do it properly.

I defy you to show me one sentence where I put any words in your mouth. I just didn't agree with your own words.

Top
#1809016 - 12/20/11 02:43 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: AZNpiano]
Maxtor Offline

Bronze Supporter until Jan 01 2013


Registered: 08/14/11
Posts: 182
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: mric
AZNpiano - how many of your students have AP?

I've said this before. Not all of them are great musicians (two are complete duds), but most of them are, in fact, quite musical, and can learn music quickly. I know the sample size is limited and everything I see/hear is merely anecdotal, but I have a strong suspicion that AP has something to do with musicality.


You may be observing a situation where good pitch recognition makes it easier for amatuers to start, and they may be more likely to stick with it because they have some feeling (whether accurate or not) that they have a special advantage.
A student who is tone-deaf, on the other hand, will be much slower to start and is less likely to stick with it.

Top
#1809017 - 12/20/11 02:45 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: AZNpiano]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3564
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: ando
Indistinguishable??? I can hear them without even trying. It's no different to hearing basic triads. That's my job as a musician. I sometimes sit in with jazz bands and don't know any of the tunes beforehand. Once you hear a progression once, you know what the chords are and what you can play over them. They are very distinguishable. You are only confirming my belief that somebody who relies primarily on AP should not be teaching aural skills to people without AP.

Quit bragging about what you can do.


I don't even see it as bragging. I was just the beneficiary of some good teaching. I believe anybody with a reasonable instinct for music can learn the system I learned.

Quote:
How would you feel if I were to say people should not teach music UNLESS they have AP????


That is pretty much how you came across. You claim certain things must be done with AP. Like identifying certain chords that you call "indistinguishable".


Quote:
Now, if you have constructive ideas that one can use to teach non-AP students to hear 7th chords, I would love to hear it.


It's very difficult to write down as very much of it is taught by interaction and singing, and the use of a white board. If I can think of a way to describe it, I will. I don't have time to try now because I'm running late for dinner!

Top
#1809018 - 12/20/11 02:46 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Devane earlier made a great post and he/she took the effort to actually quote from the research literature, the authors of which are highly qualified musicians (and professors) and scientists who've been working on some of these questions for decades now. For somebody to call them quacks or imply that they didn't major in music in college is nonsense.

I agree with ando. Maybe people with AP shouldn't be teaching non AP students. Maybe some people with AP shouldn't be teaching at all!
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
#1809020 - 12/20/11 02:51 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: AZNpiano]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
When I've tried that with 7th chords with my non-AP students, it's a major struggle. Dominant 7th is easy to tell, as is minor-major 7th (the ugly one). Major 7th is somewhat easy to tell. But minor 7th, diminished 7th, and half-diminished 7th are bordering on the indistinguishable. Got any tricks to teach those???


My very modestly qualified first teacher (he didn't go to college for piano) taught me the differences between those chords when I was about 9 and I could identify them all by ear. Neither of us had AP.

As for tricks, all I remember him getting me to do was listen to these different chords for hours, trying to focus on the different qualities. As simple as that, no tricks. Just some decent amount of hard work. To learn this, he had me sit in a cabin with a keyboard, 2-3 hrs per day, for a couple of months (it was not just these chords). So there's your trick.
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
#1809022 - 12/20/11 02:58 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: ando]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5461
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: ando
you yourself claim that half-diminished chords etc are indistinguishable. You are putting forth this belief on the evidence that your students find them very hard, but to me, it's because you haven't showed them how to do it properly.


I can hear the 7th chords just fine. In my experience working with non-AP students, they have difficulty telling those last three 7th chords apart. Minor 7th, half-diminished 7th, and diminished 7th are difficult for students. Do you teach? Do you have success teaching this concept to many students? I'm not being facetious--just want to know how this skill can be taught.

So how do you teach aural skills properly? Can we focus on that? I can get non-AP students to hear intervals. Triads are mostly do-able. 7th chords is where the kids' ear training falls apart.

And you need to seriously get beyond the fact that I'm not helping my students. I have a genuine concern for them and their musical education, whether you believe it or not.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1809023 - 12/20/11 03:06 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: ando]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5461
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: ando
It's very difficult to write down as very much of it is taught by interaction and singing, and the use of a white board. If I can think of a way to describe it, I will. I don't have time to try now because I'm running late for dinner!

Please do so when you are free. I do want to expand upon my teaching skills, especially when I know something isn't working.

I remember posing this same question the last time an AP thread evolved on the forum, but I didn't get any response.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1809034 - 12/20/11 04:05 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Wow. I hadn't opened this thread until just now and it's certainly blown-up into something larger than it's original intention.

I've been teaching for 30+ years and have had many students with AP. None of them have been more of an outstanding pianist/musician as a result of their AP (which cannot, by the way, be taught/learned...argue with me on this point all you like, but you'll be wrong).
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1809076 - 12/20/11 07:27 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: stores]
rob.art Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/11
Posts: 187
Originally Posted By: stores
(which cannot, by the way, be taught/learned...argue with me on this point all you like, but you'll be wrong).


if there is something you cannot learn assuming that everybody can't as well is silly and kinda arrogant.

Top
#1809112 - 12/20/11 09:22 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: liszt85]
cinstance Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 104
Originally Posted By: liszt85


My very modestly qualified first teacher (he didn't go to college for piano) taught me the differences between those chords when I was about 9 and I could identify them all by ear. Neither of us had AP.

As for tricks, all I remember him getting me to do was listen to these different chords for hours, trying to focus on the different qualities. As simple as that, no tricks. Just some decent amount of hard work. To learn this, he had me sit in a cabin with a keyboard, 2-3 hrs per day, for a couple of months (it was not just these chords). So there's your trick.


Didn't you just prove by yourself it is an advantage for AP to learn those cords.

My son seems never need to memorize a score. The score just comes to his memory. His teacher told me it is because of his AP. I do not know if there is any truth in it, but his teacher does have AP too, and was speaking from her own experience.

Top
#1809127 - 12/20/11 10:02 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: cinstance]
ralphwiggum Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/13/09
Posts: 10
Loc: SF, CA
wow, so much pseudo-science and anecdotal statistics in this thread, i feel like i am watching fox news.

statistics are meaningless without knowing who and how many were sampled out of what total, what techniques were used, and how metrics were derived. Even then, it is all still probability which innately has a chance of being wrong. Especially when you are wrapping a stat around 6.8 billion.

"i know this one guy who told me he read a book once where they referenced a lecture where a guy said only .0001% of all 'white' people are AP." puhleeze.

Top
#1809216 - 12/20/11 12:15 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: stores]
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1345
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Originally Posted By: stores
. . . . None of them have been more of an outstanding pianist/musician as a result of their AP (which cannot, by the way, be taught/learned)...

+1

What musicians and composers "should" be learning, studying and practising is RP.
It's a waste of time and energy to try to achieve AP.
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

https://soundcloud.com/chrisb/sets
https://www.youtube.com/user/djboing/videos

Top
#1809343 - 12/20/11 03:26 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: currawong]
David-G Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 1242
Loc: London
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: rob.art
I agree, not all people will be able to re-learn but if you tone dead you shouldn't be seeking carrier in music anyway smile
Huh? You're saying people who don't have absolute pitch are "tone dead"? (or "tone deaf", if that's what you meant) Sounds like you don't know much about relative pitch.

I agree. But anyway, I don't suppose many people have a carrier in music.

Top
#1809432 - 12/20/11 05:03 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
jnod Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/09
Posts: 794
Loc: Toronto
Hey, another perfect pitch war! This time, let's get it settled once and or all eh?
_________________________
Justin
-------
Bach English Suite #5
Scarlatti Sonata K141 . L422
Mozart Sonata K333
Schubert Impromptu opus 90 D899
Schubert Moment Musicaux opus 94 D780

Top
#1809500 - 12/20/11 06:28 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: rob.art]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: rob.art
Originally Posted By: stores
(which cannot, by the way, be taught/learned...argue with me on this point all you like, but you'll be wrong).


if there is something you cannot learn assuming that everybody can't as well is silly and kinda arrogant.


I didn't say that IIIII couldn't learn it (which I can't) did I? Perhaps reading the entire post and digesting what you've read first will help prepare a better response next time.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1809518 - 12/20/11 06:58 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: cinstance]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Originally Posted By: cinstance
Originally Posted By: liszt85


My very modestly qualified first teacher (he didn't go to college for piano) taught me the differences between those chords when I was about 9 and I could identify them all by ear. Neither of us had AP.

As for tricks, all I remember him getting me to do was listen to these different chords for hours, trying to focus on the different qualities. As simple as that, no tricks. Just some decent amount of hard work. To learn this, he had me sit in a cabin with a keyboard, 2-3 hrs per day, for a couple of months (it was not just these chords). So there's your trick.


Didn't you just prove by yourself it is an advantage for AP to learn those cords.

My son seems never need to memorize a score. The score just comes to his memory. His teacher told me it is because of his AP. I do not know if there is any truth in it, but his teacher does have AP too, and was speaking from her own experience.


How exactly did I prove that? I thought the AP possessor in this thread found these chords "indistinguishable" whereas almost everybody else here (who do not possess AP) did just fine distinguishing between those chords.


Edited by liszt85 (12/20/11 06:59 PM)
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
#1809530 - 12/20/11 07:19 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: AZNpiano]
Quaver Pyjama Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/11
Posts: 114
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

Whoever wrote that doesn't really understand music, or did not major in music. Are you kidding? AP is extremely helpful. It helps with dictation, interval and chord recognition, and memory! If you have AP, once you memorize a progression of sounds/notes, your fingers actually move toward those keys naturally. You can also start playing a familiar piece/tune in the correct key without the score.

I teach kids music theory. Those with AP are at a distinct advantage. How can you (aurally) tell the different 7th chords without being able to recognize the individual notes?

When playing on a transposable keyboard, that would be a problem, because people with AP would have memorized a piece in its original key. If you just move the notes down a M2, it would cause major issues for people with AP.

I'm sorry, but nothing you mentioned has much relevance. Memory, chord recognition, etc. of course that are important things. But MUSICALLY it means 0.

Top
#1809756 - 12/21/11 02:03 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: liszt85]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5461
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: liszt85
I thought the AP possessor in this thread found these chords "indistinguishable" whereas almost everybody else here (who do not possess AP) did just fine distinguishing between those chords.


That's just factually wrong.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#1809772 - 12/21/11 02:56 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: AZNpiano]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: liszt85
I thought the AP possessor in this thread found these chords "indistinguishable" whereas almost everybody else here (who do not possess AP) did just fine distinguishing between those chords.


That's just factually wrong.


My bad. You were talking about your non AP students there.

In any case the point still holds. Non AP people here (which is the majority in this thread) haven't had issues with the chords you mention. So your failure to teach your non AP students to distinguish between those chords probably has nothing to do with having/not having AP.
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
#1810054 - 12/21/11 03:20 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: liszt85]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Originally Posted By: liszt85
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: liszt85
I thought the AP possessor in this thread found these chords "indistinguishable" whereas almost everybody else here (who do not possess AP) did just fine distinguishing between those chords.


That's just factually wrong.


My bad. You were talking about your non AP students there.

In any case the point still holds. Non AP people here (which is the majority in this thread) haven't had issues with the chords you mention. So your failure to teach your non AP students to distinguish between those chords probably has nothing to do with having/not having AP.


And this earned me a message from the mod. Good job AZN.
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
#1810127 - 12/21/11 05:24 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: liszt85]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1485
Originally Posted By: liszt85
Originally Posted By: liszt85
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: liszt85
I thought the AP possessor in this thread found these chords "indistinguishable" whereas almost everybody else here (who do not possess AP) did just fine distinguishing between those chords.


That's just factually wrong.


My bad. You were talking about your non AP students there.

In any case the point still holds. Non AP people here (which is the majority in this thread) haven't had issues with the chords you mention. So your failure to teach your non AP students to distinguish between those chords probably has nothing to do with having/not having AP.


And this earned me a message from the mod. Good job AZN.


Why do you need to complain about this? You like to report people too. What goes around, comes around.

Top
#1810133 - 12/21/11 05:37 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
I don't report people unless it completely goes out of hand. It has happened VERY few times in the past. I don't report people saying that they had misquoted me.

Edit: Ah I remember now Ron. I think I reported you about a year ago when you sent me PM's full of filthy language. Is that what you're complaining about? That really did qualify for the rarest of the rare cases. Sorry.


Edited by liszt85 (12/21/11 05:45 PM)
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
#1810139 - 12/21/11 05:44 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
I'm thinking maybe I should start using the notify button more often. People provoke me clearly knowing that I'm going to respond. Take RonaldSteinway for example. He and I have had numerous differences before. Right here is a clear attempt at starting a new fight with "what goes around comes around". Many people here would report me to the mod for posting something similar. Why should I then not use the notify button? I personally think we can take care of our business without having to bother other people (mods) with silly matters. Apparently, not many share that view. So maybe I'll start bothering the mods myself because I haven't been treated fairly in the past and my not using the notify button enough may have to do with that because many times, mods tend to miss the first shot (and other continuing veiled shots).
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
#1810405 - 12/22/11 03:42 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: ChopinAddict]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4785
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Some say 1:10,000, but we thought there might be more hope here in a recent thread...

Here is a test...

The test is useless. If the first pitch is heard correctly, or guessed, all the rest can be nailed through RP...
_________________________
Piano Teacher

Top
#1810500 - 12/22/11 09:32 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: Gary D.]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3564
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Some say 1:10,000, but we thought there might be more hope here in a recent thread...

Here is a test...

The test is useless. If the first pitch is heard correctly, or guessed, all the rest can be nailed through RP...


LOL, that's exactly what happened! I got 12 out of 12. Theoretically, I have perfect pitch. Yet I know I don't. I hear a few notes perfectly, D being one of them, so I got the first note right. After that it was RP all the way. Just goes to show that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

Top
#1810517 - 12/22/11 10:09 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: ando]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1485
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Some say 1:10,000, but we thought there might be more hope here in a recent thread...

Here is a test...

The test is useless. If the first pitch is heard correctly, or guessed, all the rest can be nailed through RP...


LOL, that's exactly what happened! I got 12 out of 12. Theoretically, I have perfect pitch. Yet I know I don't. I hear a few notes perfectly, D being one of them, so I got the first note right. After that it was RP all the way. Just goes to show that there is more than one way to skin a cat.


If you don't get the first note correct, you are screwed then.
To me PP is only useful, if you need to accompany such as in a church when suddenly the priest sings with incorrect key. PP people will be able to adjust to the correct key right away. RP people will have problem, or in Jazz improvisation where you need to join in the middle, and did not have the chance to find out the key. Otherwise, RP can be used for most occasions. Having great note recognition ability does not guarantee that one will be a good pianist. It definitely helps the learning process.

Top
#1810535 - 12/22/11 10:31 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: RonaldSteinway]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3564
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Some say 1:10,000, but we thought there might be more hope here in a recent thread...

Here is a test...

The test is useless. If the first pitch is heard correctly, or guessed, all the rest can be nailed through RP...


LOL, that's exactly what happened! I got 12 out of 12. Theoretically, I have perfect pitch. Yet I know I don't. I hear a few notes perfectly, D being one of them, so I got the first note right. After that it was RP all the way. Just goes to show that there is more than one way to skin a cat.


If you don't get the first note correct, you are screwed then.

Pretty much, yes!

Quote:
... or in Jazz improvisation where you need to join in the middle, and did not have the chance to find out the key.


I think even in Jazz, people who don't have AP just learn ways of coping. That has been my experience. For example, if I can't guess the key straight away, I'll play a short chromatic or whole tone run, and within a couple of notes, you hear through RP how far off you are. Jazz players often approach notes this way anyway so it doesn't disturb the listener. After that, you settle in and play around the chord changes until you have your bearings. The only difference for an AP person is that they might be able to avoid the little guessing tool right at the start. A lot of people with AP do not process the identity of notes seamlessly at any speed. They often need a bit of time to concentrate on what they just heard. I suspect that when it comes to imitating phrases in a Jazz improv setting, there is still a degree of RP going on. I don't believe that anyone with a good ear can dispense with RP entirely. It's critical to understanding the tonal hierarchy and playing with correct emphasis on the right notes. AP alone will not inform this if the music is flowing along at a fair speed. With AP, tonal/harmonic thinking is something of an add-on to what's happening (it requires an extra thought process). With well-developed RP, it is part and parcel of it because it is the major tool for how you are getting the notes in the first place. In either case, somebody with highly developed hearing will use a fair degree of RP. AP people are not savants for whom music is revealed effortlessly without conscious effort. It's just a tool that works in a select range of circumstances.

Top
#1810562 - 12/22/11 11:09 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Ando, how much time did you take with each note in that test? I've heard that its the time taken that is crucial with these tests.
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
#1810625 - 12/22/11 01:10 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: liszt85]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3564
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: liszt85
Ando, how much time did you take with each note in that test? I've heard that its the time taken that is crucial with these tests.


I took about 2-3 seconds per note, I think.

I should add though that I have known about a dozen people with AP in my life and they were not all the same. Some of them took some time to zone in on the particular note they were aiming for. They were extremely accurate, but not always instant. In fact, it generally took slightly longer than I think it took me to get a note using RP. But I think it does come down to what sort of work the individual has put into their pitch training. I put a great deal of work into my RP. I went around singing scales, modes, arpeggios and intervals to myself for several years until I felt very secure with my listening. I consider it to be possibly the single most beneficial thing I ever did for my music.

Likewise, I think a lot of people with AP also put extra work into being very accurate with it. Whether it's testing themselves by getting people to play notes, trying to identify specific notes within dense textures or even by singing into an electronic tuner. Some are even able to discern between a US temperament and a European temperament. (differences of 5 cents or less). All of that is the product of some effort. I think it is often misrepresented as a skill that people get like some sort of idiot savant, but I think it's more like something people pick up by intense musical study and involvement at an early age. Like any skill, it can be honed and improved. Absolute pitch is not absolute! It happens to different degrees and proficiency levels.

I once took part in a 2 year study of pitch recognition. All subjects underwent rigourous testing with PET scanners over their brains. The test pitches were delivered quite rapidly at certain stages to try and separate those who used AP and those who used RP, but it didn't turn out to be so simple. The scan results themselves pointed to the fact that different people take different amounts of time to use either method of pitch recognition. I was classed as having "quasi-perfect pitch" - which means I hear a few select notes absolutely if given enough time to resonate with it, but that I primarily use relative pitch as my tool. I hear guitar notes much more absolutely than piano notes too. I never got around to reading the final results of that study but I might see if I can get my hands on it. Fascinating stuff.

Top
#1810658 - 12/22/11 01:43 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: ando]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Originally Posted By: ando

I put a great deal of work into my RP. I went around singing scales, modes, arpeggios and intervals to myself for several years until I felt very secure with my listening. I consider it to be possibly the single most beneficial thing I ever did for my music.


The last time I did this was when I was around 10-12 (don't recall exactly). My teacher put me in a room one day with a cassette player playing some popular songs. My job was to figure out all the chords. I didn't even have a pitch to start with but I remember getting all of them right (even the absolute pitch). I did take some time to figure out the absolute pitch (I probably used some vocal cord memory too).

I think I should do some of that training again!
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
#1810661 - 12/22/11 01:45 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: ando]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Originally Posted By: ando
but I think it's more like something people pick up by intense musical study and involvement at an early age. Like any skill, it can be honed and improved.


Research has shown that early musical training plays a huge role in the development of AP.
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
#1810731 - 12/22/11 04:03 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: ando]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4785
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: ando

LOL, that's exactly what happened! I got 12 out of 12. Theoretically, I have perfect pitch. Yet I know I don't. I hear a few notes perfectly, D being one of them, so I got the first note right. After that it was RP all the way. Just goes to show that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

It's a very nicely designed little test, and I will recommend it to good students with the idea that it is a good start for testing or working on intervals.

After all, it is not even an octave range (A to G#/Ab) and only single notes. smile
_________________________
Piano Teacher

Top
#1811090 - 12/23/11 10:49 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
rob.art Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/11
Posts: 187
if you've really been good all year sometimes you can get perfect pitch for Christmas present.

Top
#1811097 - 12/23/11 10:57 AM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
Kuanpiano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 2139
Loc: Canada
If you have perfect pitch, your sense of hearing complex figurations and notes can get better, but I don't think there's any way to bridge the gap between having it or not.
_________________________
Working on:
Chopin - Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante
Rachmaninoff - Preludes op. 23 nos. 3,4,6, op. 32 no.12
Franck - Violin Sonata

Top
#1811153 - 12/23/11 12:06 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: Kuanpiano]
rob.art Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/11
Posts: 187
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
If you have perfect pitch, your sense of hearing complex figurations and notes can get better, but I don't think there's any way to bridge the gap between having it or not.


wrong, this is called color hearing - a ideal and most suitable for musician hearing.

Top
#1837423 - 02/02/12 07:11 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6116
Loc: St. Louis area
I never really cared about obtaining perfect pitch until I saw this:

_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

Top
#1837431 - 02/02/12 07:36 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: Damon]
Studio Joe Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/07
Posts: 1803
Loc: Decatur, Texas
Originally Posted By: Damon
I never really cared about obtaining perfect pitch until I saw this:


Very appropriate! Good find Damon.
_________________________
Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax

Top
#1837433 - 02/02/12 07:41 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: Studio Joe]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3564
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Studio Joe
Originally Posted By: Damon
I never really cared about obtaining perfect pitch until I saw this:


Very appropriate! Good find Damon.


Oh man, I'd forgotten how terrible those old Batman episodes were! eek

Top
#1837462 - 02/02/12 08:55 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
Synival Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 30
Loc: Monmouth, OR
When I was young, I couldn't name any notes upon hearing them, but I had a good musical memory and always hear in song in my head in the same key. Using that, I taught myself to identify pitches based on songs I knew - Bolero begins with a C, the DSCH moniker in the 8th quartet begins with a D, Ravel's Pavane begins with a G, and so on. I can recognize some notes more easily than others (G's are EVERYWHERE in everyday life), and for others, I need to use relative pitch. If you always hum your favorite tunes in the same key, you should be able to train your ear this way, but beware - I'm convinced some of my favorite recordings are in different tunings, which has really messed with my head wink

I was able to use absolute pitch for ear training exercises back in college, but even if you have that ability, I would NOT recommend it! I really regret not working on my relative pitch - it's much more essential than naming a note out of the air - but it's a neat party trick smile

Top
#1837567 - 02/02/12 11:46 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: Damon]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4785
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Damon
I never really cared about obtaining perfect pitch until I saw this:

Holy perfect pitch!!! <snicker>
_________________________
Piano Teacher

Top
#1837569 - 02/02/12 11:50 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: Gary D.]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6116
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: Damon
I never really cared about obtaining perfect pitch until I saw this:

Holy perfect pitch!!! <snicker>


Yes, it's useful sometimes. ha
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

Top
#1936087 - 08/01/12 10:51 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
music producer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/14/11
Posts: 13
I'm the original poster.... I found out my pastor had perfect pitch when I put together a short Christmas program in my recording studio - bits of this and that, and I used some pre-existing printed music for portions of it, even though it was off by 1/2 step for one of the songs - didn't think anyone would notice. It drove him nuts - he could hardly sing because what he was singing didn't match what he was looking at.

Top
#1936089 - 08/01/12 10:54 PM Re: Perfect Pitch - What are the odds? [Re: music producer]
music producer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/14/11
Posts: 13
Also, in reply to one of the comments about developing PP wrong with an instrument that is poorly tuned as the basis - that has definitely happened.

On another note, I think I'll start another thread one of these days about how PP can drop 1/2 step as one ages... it's happened to me and a couple other musicians I know. Strange....

Top
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 >

Moderator:  Brendan, Kreisler 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
73 registered (casinitaly, Cmin, 17 invisible), 857 Guests and 21 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76027 Members
42 Forums
157201 Topics
2308796 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Repeated note legato
by noobpianist90
Today at 02:16 AM
"Y.Becker" # 6839 (pin)
by Maximillyan
Today at 01:54 AM
Why are semi-concert grands so expensive?
by ColinDS
Today at 12:07 AM
AMEB Grades
by Patonpiano
Yesterday at 11:22 PM
Hearing loss
by Tango Vic
Yesterday at 11:09 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission