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Jul. 1st, 2009 @ 12:01 pm perfect pitch curiosity
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toneblend:
From:toneblend
Date:July 1st, 2009 06:33 pm (UTC)
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Thanks everyone for your input. I guess I'm feeling a bit disapointed. I was expecting to find a key difference bewteen people with AP hearing and ours but there doesn't seem to be any (or maybe I ask the wrong questions). You seem to hear music just like us except you know the notes.

The real question behind thoses ones is, in your opinion, is there something different in your way to perceive music that could have AP as a side effect? I realize it's an tuff question if you had AP as long as you remember because you can't know the difference of course.
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From:matthras
Date:July 1st, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC)
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Please bear in mind that this is a ridiculously small sample size, for starters =P.

Secondly, there are people who only have absolute pitch (like me) and those who also have relative pitch (so hence, they hear things the same way like the general populace).

Also consider that (quasi-)absolute pitch can be developed. Quasi-absolute pitch is where one can remember a single note by absolute pitch ability, and then reference all other notes to it using relative pitch.

There's a foundation of research by a guy called Miyazaki which actually points out that absolute pitch-only possessors are at a major disadvantage compared to the rest when perceiving music. Some of the studies are actually quite interesting to read.
From:toneblend
Date:July 2nd, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
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I have heard about quasi-absloute pitch already but it seems to be quite different. If I remember correctly people with QAP don't have instantaneous tone recognition even for their reference tone. It's more like they have to consciously compare a heard pitch to their memorized one so it's slower (but better than nothing I agree).

Would you say that each pitch has a disctinct feeling or is it more like an information (this is just a pitch that happens to be a B flat)?
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From:matthras
Date:July 2nd, 2009 10:40 pm (UTC)
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To be honest I haven't met anyone who claims QAP. My younger brother's a violinist without absolute pitch, but he can recognise the concert A when it's played (obviously because he tunes to it!) so I think that people are able to develop QAP once they learn to play a tone in their head that they are familiar with.

Both, actually. Although for me it's more an information aspect because I tend to struggle to find emotion in music in a general sense. However I do feel that 'G' is a happy note, 'A' sounds overconfident, 'Eb' is annoying, etc. but I usually identify them in an information aspect.
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From:ideealisme
Date:July 1st, 2009 10:22 pm (UTC)
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This probably doesn't answer your Q, but every song I know well enough to sing, I have a pitch memory of what key it's in. For example, just thinking of a song off the top of my head, "We Can Work It Out" by the Beatles, I remember that as being in D and could start singing it in that key now (NB I have not checked this). Or "Hold me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me" by U2 is in E flat (I actually use that as one of my indicators for finding E flat in my head) The song and the key info are "saved" in the brain together. God knows how much of my brain is occupied by this interesting if useless stuff.

OK I just looked up "We can Work It Out" to verify this and I was probably off by maximum an eighth of a tone. So it's defo in D.

(ETA: this can be irritating if something is being played on the radio in a different key than it is on the version you know.)

Edited at 2009-07-01 10:24 pm (UTC)
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From:sharp11
Date:July 4th, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
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AP doesn't come because of how we perceive music - we perceive music how we do through the filter of AP. You won't get AP by listening a certain way. Personally, I think it's something to do with genetics, but I don't think science has conclusively proven that... :) I think this because my brother has AP but no musical training - for example, if he's humming a song from the radio he'll always be in the right key, and if I play a song on the piano in a different key - even a half-step away - he'll tell me I'm playing it wrong, even though he won't know why.

Also, this QAP thing - I don't know people who claim to have QAP, but I know lots of people with QAP who claim to have AP :P

And, I have relative pitch AND perfect pitch - I got the RP because an ear-training teacher of mine back in college transposed all the ear-training exercises in our books so I couldn't learn them through AP. In all honesty, as a contemporary musician, the RP has come in much more usefully, but the AP is certainly still nice to have :)
From:toneblend
Date:July 5th, 2009 09:21 am (UTC)
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Ok, the way you perceive music is more a consequence of AP not the reverse. That makes senses.

As for the genetic origin of AP, I think it's true that some have predisposition that makes AP activation more likely even without musical training but there are other studies that tend to prove that AP may be acquired by most of us if it's enabled during the critical learning period (I think it goes to 12 years old).

Anyway it's certainly to late for me but I can leave without it :-)

However, I wonder if the critical period thing is also a requirement for "absolute piano" (The ability to recognize notes by their timbre on your own instrument). Do you guys have any stories of people having learned this skill in adulthood?