Music-related Memory - Testing - Absolute Pitch

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. 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.

Read more about this topic:  Music-related Memory, Testing

Other articles related to "absolute pitch, pitch":

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 ...
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 ... of left dorsolateral frontal activity when they performed relative pitch judgments ...
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 ... Unlike absolute pitch, this skill is dependent on a recently perceived tonal center ...

Famous quotes containing the words pitch and/or absolute:

    I can’t earn my own living. I could never make anything turn into money. It’s like making fires. A careful assortment of paper, shavings, faggots and kindling nicely tipped with pitch will never light for me. I have never been present when a cigarette butt, extinct, thrown into a damp and isolated spot, started a conflagration in the California woods.
    Margaret Anderson (1886–1973)

    The central paradox of motherhood is that while our children become the absolute center of our lives, they must also push us back out in the world.... But motherhood that can narrow our lives can also broaden them. It can make us focus intensely on the moment and invest heavily in the future.
    Ellen Goodman (20th century)