Absolute Pitch

Absolute pitch (AP), widely referred to as perfect pitch, is the ability of a person to identify or re-create a given musical note without the benefit of an external reference.

Correct identification of the pitch need not be expressed linguistically; AP can also be demonstrated in auditory imagery or sensorimotor responses, for example by reproducing on an instrument a tone that has been heard (without "hunting" for the correct pitch).

Possessors of absolute pitch have it in varying degrees. Generally, absolute pitch implies some or all of the following abilities, in the absence an external standard:

  • Identify by name individual pitches (e.g. A, B, C♯) played on various instruments
  • Name the key of a given piece of tonal music just by listening (without reference to an external tone)
  • Identify and name all the tones of a given chord or other tonal mass
  • Accurately sing a named pitch without an external reference
  • Name the pitches of common everyday sounds such as car horns and alarms

People have absolute pitch ability and relative pitch ability in varying degrees. Relative and absolute pitch work together in actual musical listening and practice, but strategies in using each skill vary.

Read more about Absolute PitchCorrelation With Musical Talent, Relative Pitch

Other articles related to "absolute pitch, pitch":

Absolute Pitch - Relative Pitch
... Many musicians have quite good relative pitch, a skill which can be learned through ear training ... With practice, it is possible to listen to a single known pitch once (from a pitch pipe or a tuning fork) and then have stable, reliable pitch identification by ... Unlike absolute pitch, this skill is dependent on a recently perceived tonal center ...
Music-related Memory - Testing - Absolute Pitch
... Absolute pitch (AP) is the ability to produce or recognize specific pitches without reference to an external standard ... People boasting AP have internalized pitch references, and thus are able to maintain stable representations of pitch in long-term memory ... preserves the pitches they sing avoiding the potential pitch and speed fluctuations of analog recording ...
Amplitude Scaling Invariance - Absolute Pitch
... Absolute pitch (AP) is defined as the ability to identify the pitch of a musical tone or to produce a musical tone at a given pitch without the use of an external reference ... demonstrated similar patterns of left dorsolateral frontal activity when they performed relative pitch judgments ...
Music-related Memory - Development - Relative and Absolute Pitch
... The first process is known as relative pitch, which refers to a person's ability to identify the intervals between given tones ... The alternate process is that of absolute pitch, the ability to name or replicate a tone without reference to an external standard ... Relative pitch has been shown to be more important than absolute pitch with regard to developing high musical talent ...

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