Perfect Pitch

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Branson, Sep 19, 2015.

  1. Branson

    Branson Piano User

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    For my own information-

    How many readers feel that they have perfect pitch and how do you know you have perfect pitch?
     
  2. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    There were two sisters in our regional schools orchestra whose party trick was the ability to name all the notes of any random chord played on the piano.

    I thought that was pretty impressive.
     
  3. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    I don't known of anyone living today who is accredited with having perfect pitch. Reputedly the pianist Eddie Duchin and John Philip Sousa were accredited with perfect pitch. The U.S. Navy accredited Eddie Duchin.

    IMO it is very rare, and I believe it has much to do with the sourcing of the tone we hear. We are cornetist / trumpeters and may be able to discern the notes in the range of these instruments, but I've more than doubt about doing so from C piccolos and violins.

    An accomplished pianist could discern the notes of a chord by visual location on the keyboard, but I believe it may be difficult in a blind test. Consider that I say this because most pianos I've encountered are out of tune.
     
  4. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

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    Not sure. I have to push my ears in a little in cold weather and pull them out in warm. :huh:
     
  5. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

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    Actually, over the years I have heard all types of myths and stories about perfect pitch. Essentially, it means if you play a certain pitch, a person can remember and later produce it at the same frequency. Keep in mind that God didn't instill in people with such pitch (better named absolute pitch) a series of tuning forks. The fact that today we typically say C is 440hz is something we learn. I've heard tales of someone with perfect pitch being driven crazy because a band is playing with C at some other pitch. Maybe, but the person would have had to have originally "learned" 440 for C. They could have just as well learned whatever frequency is being played as C.

    Many years back in music school I had a teacher who told us to pick a particular note on the piano, memorize it, and be able to reproduce it. I picked A (B on trumpet). Today I can still sing that pitch within a few cents.
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    The late 70s I lived and played in the Stuttgart area. At the opera there was an american soprano who had perfect pitch - A440. Unfortunately Germany tunes to A443. Although she was a fantastic singer, there was always a certain amount of strain in her sound. One time an orchestra that I was playing with for a rehearsal tuned down to 440 - what a difference!

    Ever since then, I believe that some have this gift/curse and that there is no easy explanation for the mechanism. I do think that most professional players develop a sense of pitch that is very predictable and stable. That is why they nick less notes. This is a learned mechanism and is not perfect pitch.
     
  7. Branson

    Branson Piano User

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    Some reports have estimated that 1 out of 10,000 people actually have perfect pitch.

    Having this ability in all ranges with all instruments does seem to be a limiting factor.
     
  8. BrassBandMajor

    BrassBandMajor Fortissimo User

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    I have them.
    My theory teacher said I did and I did.
    Every choir rehearsal we do chord warmups and we don't know the notes.
    The teacher always asks me. I always got it right!
     
  9. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    So you'll be easily able to jot down the chord sequence of this as you listen to it



    Let's be generous and give you 20 minutes..... ;-)
     
  10. BrassBandMajor

    BrassBandMajor Fortissimo User

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    .-. Seth.....
    I am not a genius.....
     

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