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Re: Learning perfect pitch?

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  • Joe Wilbert
    I have tried the relative pitch course and it is drill, drill, drill. I did not complete the course. But, I did learn from the drills that I completed. A lot
    Message 1 of 12 , Apr 1 3:37 PM
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      I have tried the relative pitch course and it is drill, drill, drill. I did
      not complete the course.
      But, I did learn from the drills that I completed. A lot of theory in the
      course. Perfect Pitch I
      believe is much harder to learn. I agree the other replys.

      Joe Wilbert
    • J. Coon
      Why would anyone want perfect pitch anyway? It would drive me nuts if I had it. Every time you listened to anything, you d have to put up with knowing that
      Message 2 of 12 , Apr 1 4:28 PM
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        Why would anyone want perfect pitch anyway? It would drive me nuts if I
        had it. Every time you listened to anything, you'd have to put up with
        knowing that it was slight off pitch. Without it you just listen or
        play the music.

        Joe Wilbert wrote:
        >
        > I have tried the relative pitch course and it is drill, drill, drill.
        > I did
        > not complete the course.
        > But, I did learn from the drills that I completed. A lot of theory in
        > the
        > course. Perfect Pitch I
        > believe is much harder to learn. I agree the other replys.
        >
        --
        Jim Coon
        Not just another pretty mandolin picker.
        mailto:liteways@...
        If Gibson made cars, would they sound so sweet?

        My web page

        http://liteways.tripod.com/Mandolin/Mandolin.html
      • alan r
        Does anyone have imperfect pitch? I have always had relative pitch (which I think is much more desirable) and about 80% perfect pitch. IOW I am right 8 out
        Message 3 of 12 , Apr 1 5:15 PM
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          Does anyone have 'imperfect' pitch? I have always had relative pitch (which I think is much more desirable) and about 80% perfect pitch. IOW I am right 8 out of 10. And if I take more time to 'think' about my guess, my accuracy goes up. Also it improves if I am more involved with music at a given time. My (im)perfect pitch seems to be bound up with particular instruments and the fact that they are not symmetric on all notes. Eg I played trumpet for many years and just because of the characteristic of the instrument (changing tube lengths for the notes) I am closer to 100% on that. Each note has a character. There also seems to be a strong 'muscle memory', iow when I hear the note it correlates to a feel of how much tension I would need in the embouchure to produce that note. On something like flute which I also played its much less accurate. The 80% i mentioned is for piano.

          Anyway what I have is definitely not perfect. My mother who was a pianist had perfect pitch and it was more immediate and infallible for her. I remember she used to say that there was an individuality to each note and that is my sense also. Eg, do the black keys on the piano collectively sound different than the white ones to you (all)? like more um, nasal?

          Another interesting thing about it is that sometimes I am sure I am right and then I am, and other times I know I dont have it.

          Alan Reider

          *********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

          On 4/1/2002 at 7:28 PM J. Coon liteways@... wrote:

          >Why would anyone want perfect pitch anyway? It would drive me nuts if I
          >had it. Every time you listened to anything, you'd have to put up with
          >knowing that it was slight off pitch. Without it you just listen or
          >play the music.
          >
          >Joe Wilbert wrote:
          >>
          >> I have tried the relative pitch course and it is drill, drill, drill.
          >> I did
          >> not complete the course.
          >> But, I did learn from the drills that I completed. A lot of theory in
          >> the
          >> course. Perfect Pitch I
          >> believe is much harder to learn. I agree the other replys.
          >>
          >--
          >Jim Coon
        • Linda Barwick
          to those interested, here is a site where you can do a test and participate in a study on absolute pitch (perfect pitch)
          Message 4 of 12 , Apr 1 5:34 PM
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            to those interested, here is a site where you can do a test and participate
            in a study on absolute pitch (perfect pitch)
            http://perfectpitch.ucsf.edu/ppstudy.html
            Linda Barwick
            Sydney
          • lynnsang
            Very interesting discussion about perfect pitch and relative pitch. Please allow me to chime in with my 2 cents. I have spent some time on learning perfect
            Message 5 of 12 , Apr 4 11:17 AM
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              Very interesting discussion about perfect pitch and relative pitch.
              Please allow me to chime in with my 2 cents.

              I have spent some time on learning perfect pitch since 1998. I
              took perfect pitch classes at the New England Conservatory of
              Music, I have bought the David Berge program, as well as used
              freeware and shareware from the internet like Absolute Pitch,
              Ear Testing, Ear Training, Perfect Pitch, PP Primer, Pitch
              Trainer...etc. My objective was of course to achieve perfect pitch
              which I was not born with. At the risk of over-simplifying things,
              my conclusions were:

              1) Some people are indeed born with perfect pitch. With some
              musicianship training, it becomes a very useful TOOL
              (emphasis!) when applied towards music analysis and
              production work. I now work at Berklee College of Music where
              almost everyone is a musician, and we use pitch recognition
              whether at the relative or perfect pitch level as an essential
              teaching tool. Those classes are humbly called "Ear Training"
              classes.

              2) Contrary to some speculation about people born with perfect
              pitch having problems with out of tune instruments, the people I
              know just adjust themselves accordingly. Bear in mind that
              concert pitch A=440hz was adopted in 1939, being periodically
              raised in pitch from 403hz since 1648. There is really nothing
              "absolute" about 440hz or whichever pitch, it is something that
              musicians just have to get used to. The pianos in Berklee are
              usually tuned to 441hz, and my perfect pitch friends said it
              sounds a little bit foreign at first but they adapt to it very
              quickly.

              3) As for myself, I have been unable to achieve "permanent"
              perfect pitch . It is not something that I could learn, forget about,
              and then just call it up like swimming or riding a bike. As long as
              I stayed on the daily drills, my random pitch recognition skill was
              quite on target. Once I stop the drills, it deteriorates. I pick up
              the drills again, and it's back.

              4) The main benefit of learning perfect pitch is becoming
              proficient at relative pitch! I have not done Auralia, but from the
              description on the web site, it seems to start with relative pitch
              training, same as any other perfect pitch program I know of.
              When I did my program with the Conservatory, we started with
              monophonic intervals. After a month of that, the first
              breakthrough should be with octaves - they begin to take on the
              same color. I mean like all A's beginning to sound the same - a
              minor 7 interval A3 to G3 can sound like a major 2nd interval A3
              to G2, although it was still obvious which register the pitch was
              in. Once the octave colors were established in a month or so, it
              became quite easy to "show off" pitch recognition (really relative
              pitch at this stage) because the 80 keys on a piano would
              become only 12! We then moved onto polyphonic pitches.
              Stacked 3rd, 4th and 5th chords were easy, but once we moved
              to a handful of random notes, everyone was having a hard time.
              The dissonances carried colors of their own and they blurred the
              notes played. In the next semester we moved onto Perfect Pitch
              2 which concentrated on recognizing the first pitch of the day
              (wake up in the morning and nail that first note you hear),
              random chords and speed. I then did the Berge tapes and the
              freeware. At the end of that 2-years spell, I have to admit that
              while my musicianship has been improved a lot, implanting
              perfect pitch into my brain was as yet impossible.

              As for acquiring relative pitch, one very important exercise is
              singing the intervals, just vocally at first and later in harmony
              with an instrument. This helps a lot in establishing the pitches
              into the mind. Jazz vocal scats are also very helpful.

              That having been said, this is after all a Music Transcriber
              Group. In that context, my opinion is that both perfect pitch and
              relative pitch are useful for transcribing by ear, but they are not
              the only tools. Knowledge of styles, forms, harmonic motions
              and structure are equally important.

              (Joe)
            • Linda Barwick
              Dear Joe Thank you for a very sensible and clear discussion. I do not have perfect pitch but (as an academic musicologist) have spent many years transcribing
              Message 6 of 12 , Apr 4 1:53 PM
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                Dear Joe
                Thank you for a very sensible and clear discussion. I do not have perfect
                pitch but (as an academic musicologist) have spent many years transcribing
                non-Western musics of various sorts. Your advice is very good. Singing is
                important and so is listening -- a lot! in the shower, in the car... -- to
                what you are transcribing, so that you really internalise the musical
                structures. I am looking forward to the day when we develop a good method of
                notating vocal timbre, which is just as important as pitch, rhythm and metre
                in many musical genres.

                Linda Barwick
                Sydney, Australia

                From: "lynnsang" <joe@...>
                Reply-To: MusicTranscribers@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Thu, 04 Apr 2002 19:17:50 -0000
                To: MusicTranscribers@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [MusicTranscribers] Re: Learning perfect pitch?


                Very interesting discussion about perfect pitch and relative pitch.
                Please allow me to chime in with my 2 cents.




                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • John Bell
                Linda Seconding your thanks to Joe for his discussion, I was wondering if you would elaborate on the meaning and context of vocal timbre. John ... From: Linda
                Message 7 of 12 , Apr 5 6:28 AM
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                  Linda

                  Seconding your thanks to Joe for his discussion, I was wondering if you
                  would elaborate on the meaning and context of vocal timbre.

                  John

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Linda Barwick [mailto:lbarwick@...]
                  Sent: Thursday, April 04, 2002 1:53 PM
                  To: MusicTranscribers@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [MusicTranscribers] Re: Learning perfect pitch?


                  Dear Joe
                  Thank you for a very sensible and clear discussion. I do not have perfect
                  pitch but (as an academic musicologist) have spent many years transcribing
                  non-Western musics of various sorts. Your advice is very good. Singing is
                  important and so is listening -- a lot! in the shower, in the car... -- to
                  what you are transcribing, so that you really internalise the musical
                  structures. I am looking forward to the day when we develop a good method of
                  notating vocal timbre, which is just as important as pitch, rhythm and metre
                  in many musical genres.

                  Linda Barwick
                  Sydney, Australia


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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