Poll: Perfect Pitch: Aquired or Born With it?
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View poll results: Perfect Pitch: Aquired or Born With it?
Yes, you can acquire Perfect Pitch by training oyur ears very hard
19 68%
No, sorry to say that you have to be born with it, so give up trying
9 32%
Voters: 28.
#1
Sophist and I started to discuss this in the advanced forum.

I think you can acquire it by conditioning your ears like "Relative Pitch."

Your thoughts on this?
#2
There's been a thread on this.

Or a discussion in a thread.

But whatever. I say you train hard to hear that F#.

And god, you misspelled that "your".
If you play guitar, please don't waste your time in The Pit, and please instead educate yourself in the Musician Talk forum, where you can be missing out on valuable info.
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#3
I think so, I've heard a low D so many times on my guitar I can usually sing it without any starting notes.
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#4
Did you ever see those ads in the guitar mags about perfect pitch?

It has a guy with a perm holding a guitar doing a fist pump.
#5
It's not easy, Usually people who've been playing an instrument since they were very VERY young, Eg, A girl who has been playing Piano since she was 5, can probably hear/sing notes perfect in her 20's without having to hear it first.
#6
You can develop it.
Did you ever see those ads in the guitar mags about perfect pitch?
Yeah, I got it off a torrent and it seems to work pretty well but I had to go away for 2 weeks and I never got back to doing it. It seemed like the real deal though.
#7
Quote by Myung-trucci

Yeah, I got it off a torrent and it seems to work pretty well but I had to go away for 2 weeks and I never got back to doing it. It seemed like the real deal though.


Just curious, what are the exercises like?

Do you listen to a pitch for an extended amount of time and then try to hum it back 30 minutes later? That's what I invision it as.
#8
This is a completely stupid thread.

Oliver Sachs, Musicophilia [2007]

This suggested to them that absolute pitch may be universal and highly adaptative in infancy but becomes maladaptive later and is therefore lost.


It has long been clear anecdotally that absolute pitch is commoner in musicinas than in the general public, and this has been confirmed by large-scale studies. Among musicians, absolute pitch is commonser in thos who have had musical training from an early age. But the correlation does not always hold: many gifted musicians fail to develop absolute pitch, despite intensive early training. It is commoner in certain families - but is this because of a genetic component or because some families provide a richer musical environment? There is a striking association of absolute pitch with early blindness (some studies estimate that about 50 percent of children born blind or blinded in infancy have absolute pitch.


I won't quote the entire book, because that'd just provide an even larger wall of text, but on the next page he discusses Diana Deutsch's findings that native speakers of Vietnamese and Mandarin use absolute pitch in their speaking, with a variation of less than a quarter tone. They also tested The Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York against the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing.
For those students who had begun musical training between 4 and 5, 14% of US nontone language speakers had absolute pitch, while 60% of the Chinese (Mandarin) speakers had it.
Those who began at age 6 or 7 only had figures of 6% US and 55% Chinese respectively.
Of those who began at age 8 or 9, no US students had absolute pitch, while 42% of Chinese stidents still did. There was no gender discrepancy.

Clearly, people, language has everything to do with it. Perhaps all infants are born with absolute pitch, and the way that they learn a particular language has to do with whether or not they keep it. Those who learn tonal languages, including most Asian dialects, are more likely to have it, whereas those learning microtonal languages are much luckier if they keep their absolute pitch. That means that both and neither are correct.
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#9
Quote by jsantos
Just curious, what are the exercises like?

Do you listen to a pitch for an extended amount of time and then try to hum it back 30 minutes later? That's what I invision it as.


No, it's nothing like that, it's about getting your ear to hear in a different sort of way, he describes it as like hearing 'colours'. I saw results withing a week but then I went away and lost it.
#10
Quote by Myung-trucci
No, it's nothing like that, it's about getting your ear to hear in a different sort of way, he describes it as like hearing 'colours'. I saw results withing a week but then I went away and lost it.


that definitely sounds interesting. Thnx and im gonna read up on it.
#11
You can acquire it.

If you listen very closely every note has a very distinctive tone to it. You spend enough time with your instrument paying attention to all the notes you play and soon you can tell an A from a C or a D or anything.
Notes are like colors. Thats why they're called "chromatic scale". The main reason why we don't recognize music notes as well as visual colors is cuz our auditory sense and perception is much weakly developed than out visual sense and perception in out brain.
So we have no problem telling the color Red from Blue but we find it almost impossible to tell if the note is either an A or F or C or anything.

But if you spend time with it and listen very closely while training your ears, you can train your ears with some hard work to acquire the skill to be able to tell what a certain note being played is.

Just to add, i don't have perfect pitch cuz i've only been playing music for the past two years and i'm pretty shite at it.
But one note i can usually pick out is the F#. Cuz its got a very bright and distinctive sound to it, its the easiest note to recognise. I usually can tell if someone plays an F# note that its an F# note.
I'm pretty shite with the other notes though...
Last edited by af_the_fragile at Oct 10, 2008,
#12
^The colours/notes example is a redundant argument.
There are many shades that we would recognize as green, from a deep ocean colour to a flourescent combination of green and yellow. Somebody with absolute pitch can recognize an exact frequency (or close to an exact frequency, some would argue). They're different.
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Big deal, I bought a hamster once and they put that in a box...doesn't make it a scale.
#13
Quote by yM.Samurai
^The colours/notes example is a redundant argument.
There are many shades that we would recognize as green, from a deep ocean colour to a flourescent combination of green and yellow. Somebody with absolute pitch can recognize an exact frequency (or close to an exact frequency, some would argue). They're different.

As i said our visual sense is far more developed than out auditory sense thats why we're able to distinguish between 6 million shades n all.
While our hearing sense is far less developed, most people can tell if a note is higher or lower than the other and might be able to say if your guitar or piano is out of tune.
But you need to train your ears to be able to recognise every note.

Its kinda like when you're a kid, you're taught about colors. Like this block is red, this circle is green and stuff like that. Thats why we can all tell colors from one another. Cuz we've all been taught that as kids.
Very few people have been taught notes when they were young. No one teaches us in school that this note is an A or this note is a C. Thats why most of us have never developed the ability to be able to recognise notes. We can distinguish between them and maybe say if they're sharper or flatter but we can't point out exactly what note they're naturally.

But with practice you can train your ears to recognise the note. Like i can pick out most F#'s from a tune which has that note in it just by listening to it cuz i kinda know what an F# sounds like. It has a very bright and distinctive tone to it. If i practice more, i can pick out all the notes from the piece too just by listening to them.
Thats perfect pitch as i understand it.


Now saying that note is an C3# with a few more extra cents at 148Hz is stupid.
Its like saying that color is a Blue at the wavelength of 680nm.
No one can do that!!

Though we can still recognise certain frequencies. Like we can all recognise the 1000Hz test frequency used in TV sets, radios and all. If we hear that note, we can instantly say hey, thats the test frequency at 1000Hz.
Most of us musicians can also recognise the A3 note at 220Hz as its the standard note used for tuning your instruments.

So you see, we've all got the ability to recognise certain notes to a certain degree. Its just not very trained and with proper training you can get your ears to recognise all the notes of music without much trouble.
#14
Quote by af_the_fragile
As i said our visual sense is far more developed than out auditory sense thats why we're able to distinguish between 6 million shades n all.
While our hearing sense is far less developed, most people can tell if a note is higher or lower than the other and might be able to say if your guitar or piano is out of tune.
But you need to train your ears to be able to recognise every note.

Its kinda like when you're a kid, you're taught about colors. Like this block is red, this circle is green and stuff like that. Thats why we can all tell colors from one another. Cuz we've all been taught that as kids.
Very few people have been taught notes when they were young. No one teaches us in school that this note is an A or this note is a C. Thats why most of us have never developed the ability to be able to recognise notes. We can distinguish between them and maybe say if they're sharper or flatter but we can't point out exactly what note they're naturally.

But with practice you can train your ears to recognise the note. Like i can pick out most F#'s from a tune which has that note in it just by listening to it cuz i kinda know what an F# sounds like. It has a very bright and distinctive tone to it. If i practice more, i can pick out all the notes from the piece too just by listening to them.
Thats perfect pitch as i understand it.


Now saying that note is an C3# with a few more extra cents at 148Hz is stupid.
Its like saying that color is a Blue at the wavelength of 680nm.
No one can do that!!

Though we can still recognise certain frequencies. Like we can all recognise the 1000Hz test frequency used in TV sets, radios and all. If we hear that note, we can instantly say hey, thats the test frequency at 1000Hz.
Most of us musicians can also recognise the A3 note at 220Hz as its the standard note used for tuning your instruments.

So you see, we've all got the ability to recognise certain notes to a certain degree. Its just not very trained and with proper training you can get your ears to recognise all the notes of music without much trouble.


I found this to be a fantastic post.

I am trying to train my ear, and goddamn, its hard and difficult.
#15
Quote by Elioz
I found this to be a fantastic post.

I am trying to train my ear, and goddamn, its hard and difficult.

If you're doing intervals, just assign a song that uses that specific interval, like for a Major seventh interval think of the song "Take On Me" or the wonderful song in the first Willy Wonka movie (Come with me, in a world of pure imagination... Very beautiful).

For individual notes, however... I... think I do something I'm not supposed to do. I also assign songs for notes, like the boss theme from FF7 for that A, or the first notes to "Far Beyond The Sun" for F.
If you play guitar, please don't waste your time in The Pit, and please instead educate yourself in the Musician Talk forum, where you can be missing out on valuable info.
Quote by DiminishedFifth
It's like you read my mind!

I got meself a self-approving sig. Kick. Ass.
#16
to acquire perfect pitch would be called relative pitch. perfect pitch can only be born with. no?
#17
You HAVE to acquire it. No one is born with it. Some people just have it early on because they started playing instruments/paying attention to pitch at an early age.

For instance, asian people are more likely to develop it then other races because their language uses different pitch to change the connotation of words/phrases