The time I spend on scientific subjects is astonishing. I can hardly be bothered to comment on the pieces I'm working on at the moment.
Maybe by next year.
First, Devane, Japanese is not a tonal language. Sorry.
That's cool. I believe you. I’ll give this lady’s success rate due to her intervention. Her method makes sense and doesn’t conflict with the subject of AP.
Concerning the status of Japanese I have looked this up before and got conflicting info. But like the ad-hoc AP definitions there seems to be imprecise clarifications from tonal to partially tonal. "Partially tonal" to somebody with clearer definitions could be "not tonal", the same way I define AP and pseudo-AP.
I did check this but got info like this.....
"There are numerous tonal languages in East Asia, including all the Chinese dialects (although Shanghainese is generally considered as only marginally tonal, with characteristics of pitch accent), Vietnamese, Thai, Lao, and Burmese (but not Mongolian, Khmer, Malay, standard Japanese
or standard Korean)."
Ok wikipedia is far from ok. But when you do further research for "tonal" and "Japanese" on the net you will find articles suggesting it.
“In Japanese, tone often has this grammatical function. It is used to distinguish words, but is also used to mark sentences.....
....As just shown, Japanese uses tone in this fashion, both grammatically and lexically.http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/cultural/language/tonal.html
Whether or not Japanese is classified as tonal or not in the strictest sense, does it disqualify it from being an environmental factor? I’m go with “no” for Japanese based on your clarification but Chinese is hard to knock. I just follow the figures but I have problems as to why
tonal languages have an effect. Seeing figures is one thing but an explanation would be handy.Do the tonal languages use octaves in their languages to communicate?
I've always had this question concerning me about tonal language value. The articles I've read routinely show an advantage. With AP (genuine) you can perceive octaves based on any individual frequency (without using RP). So knowing this, my question is "are there octaves present in tonal languages?" The answer should be "no" because otherwise it would be well documented about a sizable percentage of Chinese people who have problems with their own language. So how do tonal languages make a difference?
The octave becomes a feature of language from "music exposure" but I don't see how one can get it from a tonal language if it doesn't contain octaves. I've never found an answer to this.
I just wrote a post a few weeks ago on the so-called Asian advantage to perfect pitch. In fact, the article I quoted was one published last year by Drs. Schellenberg and Trehub entitled Is There An Asian Advantage for Pitch Memory?
The article you stated I couldn't read when you posted because I had to sign up and pay? I've just read an article now about it.http://scienceblogs.com/cognitivedaily/2008/07/why_do_more_asians_have_perfec.php
It does indeed standardise the environment by comparing students from the same place but with language backgrounds. I was liking it and hoping for a debunk/new angle until I realised it was testing “pitch memory
” based on Levitin's pitch memory study and not whether they had genuine AP where you can perceive pitch chroma
. Pitch memory is available to all. It proves people don’t have problems with memorising pitches. It doesn’t disprove the tonal factor here I’m afraid as this is about pitch memory and not about how someone perceive notes.
I've always seen music exposure as being the prime factor but it may not be only factor. It is clear you must have music exposure at the critical stage but they are other factors.
I myself have AP without a tonal language or "early training"
. I started on recently in my 30's. But I craved music as a baby and was practically glued to the radio during my childhood. So I don't think my situation debunks anything as I clearly had the primary factor. "Above average exposure" is a better term than "early training" but this lady's programme falls under both in this case.
The brain is physically different if you have AP. Is it environmental or genetic?.
The Bejing kids who have all the environmental factors and still don't have AP suggests a genetic factor too. If they think they have isolated those genes, test the kids from the same school. I doubt they are suggesting it over-rides the environmental factors, it is just another ingredient.
Unlike many people here on PW I use a very, very strict definition for absolute pitch. Everything else is relative pitch. Absolute pitch cannot be taught. Relative pitch can. Not like it matters, in the end, because whether or not you have absolute pitch has no bearing on how good of a musician you are.
I've been playing that song since day one. Discussing the data of the papers is one thing but if the person you are discussing the subject with only has their own take on the subject based on no research and it making up their own definitions, it can get ugly.
Ad-hoc/fuzzy definitions giving virtually everything the name "perfect pitch" is confusing. The result of this is people claiming to disprove 100's of neurological/linguistic papers with their stories but what they are doing is just labeling an array of skills as AP.
"My Ap is...." fill in own definition here.
They know nothing about the properties of an octave , "pitch class" or "critical stage in language development" etc and cannot separate perception from memory.
I'm sure some have taken offense when I've said they have "pseudo-AP" as if AP had something to do with their musical skill. The studies are there to find out the answer as to why some people don't lose AP. The pool of people involved just happen to be musicians
but this isn't a test of musicality.
Go to the ABRSM for that!