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. AP is regarded as a rare and somewhat mysterious ability, occurring in as few as 1 in 10,000 people. A method commonly used to test for AP is as follows: subjects are first asked to close their eyes and imagine that a specific song is playing in their heads. Encouraged to start anywhere in the tune they like, subjects are then instructed to try to reproduce the tones of that song by singing, humming, or whistling. Productions made by the subject are then recorded on digital audio tape, which accurately preserves the pitches they sing avoiding the potential pitch and speed fluctuations of analog recording. Lastly, the subjects' productions are compared to the actual tones sung by the artists on the CDs. Errors are measured in semitone deviations from the correct pitch. This test, however, does not determine whether or not the subject has true absolute pitch, but rather is a test of implicit absolute pitch. Where true absolute pitch is concerned, Deutsch and colleagues have shown that music conservatory students who are speakers of tone languages have a far higher prevalence of absolute pitch than do speakers of nontone languages such as English. For a test of absolute pitch see the Absolute Pitch Test developed by Deutsch and colleagues at the University of California San Diego.
Other articles related to "absolute pitch, 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 ...
... 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 ... of left dorsolateral frontal activity when they performed relative pitch judgments ...
... 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 ... Unlike absolute pitch, this skill is dependent on a recently perceived tonal center ...
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