How to determine perfect pitch?

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mpl
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How to determine perfect pitch?

Postby mpl » Jul 25, 2007 11:30 am

Hello, this is my first topic,

I would like to know how to determine if You have perfect pitch. People from music schools and jazz guitarists often say 'You just know it. Perfect pitch is when You...'. B*******. Please refrain from replying that.

Thank You for reading my topic,
Michal

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Bojan
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Absolute pitch...

Postby Bojan » Jul 25, 2007 3:24 pm

Hi Michal, perfect pitch (or absolute pitch or absolute hearing, as it is called in musicology) is a complex ability to recognize the given pitch (or note) and reproduce it. It consists of two parts, firstly you gotta be able to tell what exact pitch, interval, chord or key you hear, and secondly you have to be able to reproduce that. If you don't have the second part, you don't really have absolute hearing. You can probably get an excellent ear if you practice a lot, but it's a thing you gotta be given by birth and start learning it just at the right time ('till your 5th year). It's a cool thing to posses, but that alone does not make a whole musician. It takes imagination, creativity, everyday work, commitment and love to what you do to be a really great musician.

It is really easier for both of us that you take a look at Wikipedia's article about Absolute hearing, you will find everything you want to know here (in English, of course), or if it's easier for you, there is a short version of the same article in Polish, Słuch absolutny. Hope this helps.
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mpl
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Postby mpl » Jul 26, 2007 12:11 am

Hello,

Please don't cheer me up. I asked how do I determine it, not what can I still do without it. Is it crucial for absolute hearing (that's the exact term in Polish) to be developed in early years of life?

Is it that? Reproducing... say, 3 days after listening? Is that right? Technicals please.

Michael

PS. The Wikipedia just gives basic information. The test in link provided I don't believe is for completely untrained musical ear. People do not know piano keyboard and well temperament by birth.

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Bojan
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example for absolute hearing

Postby Bojan » Jul 26, 2007 3:42 am

Michael, here is a good example that will help you to understand what absolute hearing really is. You don't need well tempered instrument or education in music for this, just your inborn ability to hear a tone. First, you hear any given tone, feel it as he is (e.g. recognize it), and then reproduce it (either sing it back or play it on an instrument). This ability will allow you to identify any interval, chord or key. Try it, have someone play you a tone and you will be giving back that exact tone. If you can do it, you have it. It's easy!
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mpl
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Postby mpl » Jul 26, 2007 4:00 am

Is that so? My ex-teacher asked me to sing what he plays, and he wasn't really surprised when I could do it.

Michael

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gabrielwizkid
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this might help

Postby gabrielwizkid » Sep 20, 2007 9:48 am

Michael,
You had questions about perfect pitch. I am reading in to this and i believe the ability to sing it out is one aspect, but the 1 in 10,000 comes to those who can actually say the note that is being played by name. Also the ability to play backs songs that you just heard for the first time. I can play songs while hearing them, even if i never have before. But to me, my experiences with that is just music theory and playing various instruments for over 10 years.
Gabe

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bachopinberg
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Postby bachopinberg » Mar 18, 2008 5:24 pm

hi all

i took a online test from california ucla which blast your ear with 40 notes machine-gun style

guessing 30 of 40 they sayd I have perfect pitch but I've not..

I can be wrong on sayng notes (even if I CAN NOT be wrong about things like VI's grade Dominant of Dominant ... ossia: V(V(VI)) or something)
I'm on ease even with clusters

Is there someone with such ear?

greetings
Hi all, I'm a pefect-pitch-tone-deaf musician :)

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AcidRainne
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Perfect Pitch?

Postby AcidRainne » Jan 21, 2009 8:17 am

My piano teacher told me I had perfect pitch when i was around 4 and a half. I played a song right after hearing it. You can test perfect pitch by hearing a note/chord then playing it on an instrument :)
Synesthesia is annoying >3<

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tedclaymore
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Postby tedclaymore » Feb 19, 2009 11:14 am

Michal,

Perfect pitch is the ability to recognize a pitch (or pitches) without reference to other pitches. It is also the ability to recall a pitch, usually expressed by being able to sing it on demand, but it can also be shown by other methods, such as tuning a string to a specific pitch without a tuning reference.

Your ability to sing what your teacher just played is unremarkable. This is simply relative pitch.

If you can tell your teacher what notes he played without looking at his hands or any other external clue, that is an example of PP.

If you have your teacher call out random tones, and you can sing them (test after by having him play it), then you have well-developed PP. (If you can only do this without being able to name notes, you may just have a good sense of vocal tension for singing.)

-- Ted

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Mayubix
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Do i have perfect pitch?

Postby Mayubix » Feb 21, 2011 3:00 pm

Let me explain my dillema, i know whatever i have isn't relative because i have the ability to identify notes in less than a second of hearing them and can easily reproduce notes on demand, without instruments, in seconds and am right 9/10 times

I also have the ability to identify pure tones on the spot, and for the most part can identify the notes I hear in a song and melody. Also the notes random wordly sounds

However, when i am tired, the abitlity exists but is greatly weakened

I don't have the ability to identify hertz

Am i Perfect pitch?

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Georgie
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Do I have perfect pitch?

Postby Georgie » Apr 03, 2012 6:36 pm

Hi,

I am wondering how you would determine whether someone has perfect pitch if they are unaware of music theory.

I understand relative pitch and I understand that if you ask someone with 'perfect pitch' to sing an A for example, they can. But surely that must be learned?!
If you say to a 5 year old, "sing an A", they may not have a clue what you mean. It must be learned with repetition of theory coupled with sounds.

Therefore someone may have perfect pitch but only think they have relative because they recognise sounds they have heard before but do not know the name of them?

What do people think?

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Quentin
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Postby Quentin » Apr 10, 2012 2:58 am

Perfect Pitch in music requires indeed that you have gone through a cognitive process similar to the concept of matching a signifier with its signified in linguistics. E.g. you can't call a dog a dog before you have been taught that it is called a dog by others. If you were alone on Earth, it wouldn't matter what you call the dog, but since you have to be understood by others, you need to use to the word that is commonly accepted as a dog's signifier to describe the animal in question. The same goes for perfect pitch. The signified is a frequency, and the signifier a note name.

So having perfect pitch means basically that you can put a name (C, D, E, etc.) on a frequency. But the art of putting those notes together, or understanding their relations is provided by relative pitch. Perfect pitch is highly regarded because of its name ('perfect' must be good, right? :D), and because it is a great gimmick that resembles a magical power (perfect pitch methods are also often sold as if they were giving you a key to magical powers, if you noticed).

Relative pitch on the contrary is not all stars and glimmer, it requires hard work, but it is also enabling you to play with other musicians regardless of their tuning, of what key they play a song in, to put a name on a group of notes or chords, etc.
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Postby kimleonard » May 10, 2012 11:45 pm

People with perfect or absolute pitch tend to fall into two classes. The first class consists of those who are born with it. It’s much like any other musical gift. It could be compared to the ability to play piano without ever taking lessons or learning to read music. Few people are born with this gift. Those who are tend to become proficient musicians. Some famous musicians with perfect pitch include Celine Dion, Julie Andrews, Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby and Glenn Gould.

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Postby Quentin » May 15, 2012 2:22 am

You are talking of perfect pitch being a musical gift, but there is not much music about perfect pitch. Let me explain:

Perfect Pitch is the ability to recognized isolated tones: a frequency is played, you identify it instantly without any musical context. BUT music starts when tones are combined to create melodies and harmonies, and it is that very relation between the tones that makes music, hence the importance of relative pitch skills (= identify and understand the relation between tones).

This is also why music schools and other academic institutions only teach Relative Pitch. Being able to identify one single isolated tone (= Perfect Pitch) is undoubtedly a fancy gimmick, but it is not useful for music, and those artists you are mentioning had most likely a very developed sense of relative pitch, otherwise they would have had a hard time performing live and improvising with their musicians.
- Because in Music, We're All Ears... -

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strad23
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Postby strad23 » Oct 11, 2012 4:34 am

In my opinion, perfect or absolute pitch is just a question of: ear and memory.
Who's got perfect pitch is someone who did listen to the notes, even just once or a couple of times, possibly in his childhood, and simply remembers them. So he's got excellent ear together with good memory in my opinion that's all.
Check your absolute pitch with Ear Master is simple ( it is the way I use it): in the preferences, choose not to show any reference: no reference note given before the question, no key, no writing, nothing.
If you're able to recognize notes and write them down, you've got perfect pitch.
it is worth to say that also perfect pitch needs training: if I hear a very complicate chord, maybe in one of its inversions, at the beginning can be difficult to recognize ALL notes, so I want to say that perfect pitch is a gift but can be and must be trained as well...
strad23


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