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Why do people with perfect pitch perceive tunes not in 440 Hz out of tune?

As someone with absolute pitch and trained in A440 12-tone equal temperament (i.e. the usual) with plenty of vocal music as a backup, I perceive notes that are several cents out of tune as "off" ...
Dekkadeci's user avatar
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39 votes
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Why don't all humans have absolute pitch?

The consensus among most psychologists who have studied absolute pitch is that it usually requires some sort of musical training before the age of 5-6. There are rare instances of children acquiring ...
Athanasius's user avatar
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23 votes
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What do you call a note that stays throughout the whole song?

This is called "Drone". There is a special minimalistic style for this: Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drone_music see also https://www.reddit.com/r/LetsTalkMusic/comments/5tpt81/...
rubo77's user avatar
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23 votes

If someone can sing a melody, why can they not also recognize the intervals within that melody?

I think the answer boils down to what you mean by "knowing" the intervals. To do this [sing a tune back] you surely need to be able to know the intervals in the tune you have just heard and then ...
Richard's user avatar
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22 votes

Why do people with perfect pitch perceive tunes not in 440 Hz out of tune?

I don't think I agree with what you have been told. Perfect pitch is the ability to memorize, and recall, pitches. Now just because you can do it doesn't mean that you always actually do it. If ...
JimM's user avatar
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20 votes

Is it possible to have perfect pitch but zero sense of relative pitch?

I can share two anecdotes that suggest to me that, yes, these are two different skills that unfortunately can lead to someone with absolute pitch having no relative pitch (or at least very under-...
Richard's user avatar
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20 votes

Perfect Pitch: Are tones recognizable by themselves or only in comparison with another tone?

I don't have perfect pitch, but I've had several friends over the years who did. Are the frequencies C4 260hz and A4 440hz actually noticeably different to someone with “perfect pitch”. Yes. I ask ...
phoog's user avatar
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17 votes
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Perfect pitch on only one instrument?

You might be listening to the timbre of the different notes. I remember watching this video , where the person describes learning perfect pitch from the timbre of the instrument. His process is to ...
awe lotta's user avatar
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15 votes

What is the best METHOD in acquiring perfect pitch?

Factual answer - if you don't already have perfect (absolute) pitch, there's a darned good chance you never will. Absolute pitch is the ability to hear any sound and recognise its pitch - either in ...
Tim's user avatar
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13 votes
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What is the difference between perfect pitch, pitch memorization and relative pitch?

Perfect (or absolute) pitch is the ability to instantly recognize a note or to instantly produce the sound of a requested pitch. Someone with absolute pitch can immediately sing for you a D♭, or they ...
Richard's user avatar
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12 votes

Why do people with perfect pitch perceive tunes not in 440 Hz out of tune?

The 440Hz reference point is a convention, but it's very consistently used. This means that if you can sense it, you will likely form your entire understanding of harmony and music with this included ...
cloudfeet's user avatar
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12 votes

Is it possible to have perfect pitch but zero sense of relative pitch?

Yes, one can have perfect pitch but not relative pitch. Here's a question from SE Music Practice and Theory seeking help with exactly that issue: How can I develop relative pitch if I have perfect ...
Aaron's user avatar
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12 votes

Is it possible to have perfect pitch but zero sense of relative pitch?

I can answer this question first hand. I have absolute pitch. It used to be very close to "perfect pitch", although it has degraded a little as I have got older. I do not have any sense of ...
Dawood ibn Kareem's user avatar
11 votes

What is the best METHOD in acquiring perfect pitch?

Since perfect pitch is something acquired when the brain is still very plastic the first thing you need to do is get a time machine to take you back to when you were a baby. Next find a way to ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
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10 votes

How do French and other Romance language speakers cope with the movable do system?

I was taught fixed-do solfège as a child, and only found out a few years ago that there is such a thing as movable-do. I have also been familiar with the A-G letter system for many years, and in my ...
Your Uncle Bob's user avatar
10 votes

What is the best METHOD in acquiring perfect pitch?

As far as I know from people who have do and don't (like me) have perfect pitch, you cannot acquire it. You are born with it or not. However, it does deteriorate with age.
ttw's user avatar
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10 votes
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Sometimes I naturally sing songs in the right key. Do I have perfect (absolute) pitch?

The Levitin Effect The ability to intuitively sing a song in the key your originally heard it is known as the Levitin Effect.1 It is a cognitive ability separate from absolute (perfect) pitch insofar ...
Aaron's user avatar
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10 votes

Octaves start on C with guitar?

Yes, in the scientific notation (regardless of the instrument, of course it works on piano and everywhere else) the octaves start at C. So the order is: ... G3, G#3, A3, A#3, B3, C4, C#4, D4, D#4, E4 ...
Ramillies's user avatar
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10 votes

Perfect Pitch: Are tones recognizable by themselves or only in comparison with another tone?

Absolute pitch is not some superpower that you either have or not. I believe that this ability is like a scale: You can have it in different degrees and you can improve it as you play more music. Some ...
Kris Van Bael's user avatar
9 votes

Do people with perfect pitch distinguish between equal temperament and just temperament?

My experience about this: even people without perfect pitch can distinguish between temperaments. As an example, when I play a pipe organ with unequal temperament, some chords sound very pure, without ...
Basj's user avatar
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9 votes

Perfect Pitch: Are tones recognizable by themselves or only in comparison with another tone?

I speak as a person with absolute pitch. Are the frequencies C4 260hz and A4 440hz actually noticeably different to someone with “perfect pitch”. Yes, they are. In fact, they should also be ...
Dekkadeci's user avatar
  • 14.2k
8 votes

What is the best METHOD in acquiring perfect pitch?

There is a lot of fuzz over this subject, but here is my 2 cents: Born with or learned? What is called perfect (or absolute) pitch refers to the ability of recalling an auditory (mechanical) frequency ...
hirschme's user avatar
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8 votes

Can someone have perfect/relative pitch without knowing it?

A few answers: It's definitely possible for non-musicians to have perfect pitch without being quite aware of it. If one starts to play an instrument, or study music, however, one will quickly become ...
MMazzon's user avatar
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7 votes
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Is absolute pitch acquired by training, genetic or both? And if possible, is it much harder than relative pitch?

There are elements of both. The genetic side Some people have amusia, the inability to discern pitch. These people can't identify common melodies and struggle to tell voices apart. Some people have ...
MattPutnam's user avatar
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7 votes

Able to recall music in its correct key, but don't have perfect pitch -- what is it called?

An alternative term, absolute pitch, is also used: Absolute pitch (AP) is the ability to produce or recognize specific pitches without reference to an external standard. People boasting AP have ...
Yibo Yang's user avatar
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7 votes

What do you call a note that stays throughout the whole song?

I search for songs, that have a note, that stays through the whole song? My plan is to put together a playlist with popular songs with at least one song for each note to train your perfect pitch. ...
Lars Peter Schultz's user avatar
7 votes
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Does perfect (absolute) pitch ever go out of tune?

Perfect pitch does not always remain perfect. There are studies and anecdotal discussions observing this phenomenon. For example: Effects of aging on the absolute pitch judgment and frequency ...
Aaron's user avatar
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7 votes

Perfect Pitch vs Relative Pitch, which is Considered Better

This topic is often very difficult because of terms that have vague or conflicting definitions, and a certain amount of misinformation or myth. I would recommend you throw out your working definitions ...
Andy Bonner's user avatar
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6 votes

Why do people with perfect pitch perceive tunes not in 440 Hz out of tune?

An addendum, rather than replacement for the two existing answers... I don't have perfect pitch, but I have good relative pitch. I have two friends with 'perfect' pitch. The thing is, 'perfect' ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
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6 votes

Why don't all humans have absolute pitch?

Short answer: It's a developed skill, not evolution. I'm going to add a quote here from the book "Peak: Secrets from the new science of expertise" by Andrew Eircsson and Robert Pool [Link to ...
dbala's user avatar
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