Perfect Pitch

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

  1. BrassBandMajor

    BrassBandMajor Fortissimo User

    Jan 13, 2015
    For the chords, I was meaning that only that top note of the chord.
  2. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    Neither do you have perfect pitch. But I hope now that you understand what capabilities those lucky individuals with perfect pitch possess, and maybe you could enlighten your theory teacher (who should know better).
  3. fels

    fels Piano User

    Jun 8, 2008
    Colorado Springs
    I am reading (off and on) the book "This is your Brain on Music" by Daniel Levitin. It includes discussion of pitch and brain pattern cognition for pitch as well as other elements. For this post i was looking for a specific comment on this topic - perfect pitch - did not find it but will keep looking. I recommend the book as a general resource.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    A fair test I would say for someone with perfect pitch. I am sure that Paul Dukas composed it in less than 20 minutes (not the whole opera, but the fanfare).
  5. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    BBM, then you do not have perfect pitch. When I was at music school, one of the girls had perfect pitch. It was a snap for her to identify not only a single note, but the entire chord. She was a whiz in ear training class. Never missed any chord played by the professor.
    A musician can learn to have excellent relative pitch. Those of us in the music school did develop the ability to hear and name notes in chord. If you didn't, you failed.
    The young lady with perfect pitch called it a curse. Out of tune pianos (there were only a couple of "iffy" in our school) drove her crazy as did out of tune instrumentalists.
    Speaking of pianos, for a few years I played with a trumpet player who tuned pianos for a living. He said it took a while to actually learn to adjust the pianos as to be "in tune" as they really must be slightly out of tune. It takes great skill to be a piano tuner and not all of them are equal.
    Here is an example of just intonation and equal temperament.
    equal temperament vs just intonation - Bing Videos
    It is the second one shown from the left.
    Rich T.
  6. BrassBandMajor

    BrassBandMajor Fortissimo User

    Jan 13, 2015
    Well, my aim is to get better.
  7. Branson

    Branson Piano User

    Jan 16, 2011
    Now, now....

    It would take a frequency analyzer and a computer more time than that....... and it still wouldn't prove if the reader had perfect pitch or not.
  8. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    What you have is relative pitch - it's not unusual for a person to have that. That's simply being able to identify a particular pitch, notes in a chord, etc - much would depend on how well you know music theory.

    True perfect pitch, to my understanding at least, is not only being able to identify the note, but also being able to recognize without a tuner if it's sharp or flat in regard to A=440. Even that would raise my eyebrow a bit though because A=440 hasn't always been a pitch standard, so you'd almost have had to train for A=440 as the pitch standard at some point.

    I know a guy who has perfect pitch. Not only does he know the pitch, but he also, within reason, knows if it's generally sharp or flat, but I think that it is relative to whatever keyboard he's used to using - in his home it's a six foot 1915 Model A Steinway that is regularly tuned and maintained.
  9. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    I don't make this stuff up. I might have shared your incredulity if I hadn't known people who could do this, but then I might also have researched the subject properly for a bit before challenging.
  10. mike ansberry

    mike ansberry Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Clarksville, Tennessee, U
    I believe that perfect pitch is basically photographic tonal memory. I have a friend who is a real trip to work with. If the group is playing a song she has never heard, she sits at the piano with her head down. After 1 time through the song she plays it like she has known it all her life. She also possesses a photographic memory of the regular type. She never forgets anything. I guess that is called eidetic? She played violin in our college orchestra. The group was horrible. I asked her how she could stand to be in the room and she responded with a wry smile "I have a sense of humor".

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