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Question on perfect and relative pitch? (Read 1471 times)

Offline mateya323

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Question on perfect and relative pitch?
« on: January 03, 2013, 09:47:16 PM »
I am currently able to recognise most tones and even chrds on my piano. I think I wasn't born with the ability and that it was somehow acquired later (since early childhood I was in contact with music and liked to play some instruments by ear). It is taught that you have to be born with perfect pitch. I was thinking if this is a really good sense of relative pitch or could it be perfect pitch? I am a little confused with those expressions.  :-\ I was also wondering if it is possible to have both at the same time or actually acquire one of them.
Thanks for the answers  ;)

Offline indianajo

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Re: Question on perfect and relative pitch?
«Reply #1 on: January 03, 2013, 09:59:22 PM »
I believe these expressions are "folklore" without much scientific testing of either skill.  I have excellent relative pitch, being able to remember the standard for several hours at a time.  I was a bassoon player in public school, where the pitch of the note has as much to do with the ear of the player as it does the keys open on the instrument.  However, if I walk up to a piano and sing a note, my guess as to what it was might be 1/4 to 1/2 tone off.  
However, I'm getting better at "Playing by ear" which means to me listening to a recording, then picking out the right notes on the piano or organ.  So in part this skill appears to be capable of being learned, the same way as anything else, practice.  I started trying to cultivate this skill in my 59th year, so the aged brain is not necessarily fossilized at age 5.  What helped a lot was getting a perfect pitch organ (a Hammond tonewheel) instead of a piano, which it turns out the tuner was tuning flat to standard pitch to save time.  I've pulled the piano up to standard, and find many recordings are actually recorded at a standard pitch, that can be guessed at accurately the more times you do it.
So try it, and have fun.  

Offline the89thkey

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Re: Question on perfect and relative pitch?
«Reply #2 on: January 04, 2013, 01:34:45 AM »
I never had perfect pitch, but I have very well-trained relative pitch and can recognize notes and chords instantly. I am also a strong sight-reader and excel at playing by ear. I can normally sing a pitch to within a quarter tone. For example, if I go ahead and try to sing a D# right now, the note will be a lot closer to D# than to D or E.

Offline mateya323

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Re: Question on perfect and relative pitch?
«Reply #3 on: January 04, 2013, 10:18:11 AM »
I can sing the notes that match with the piano when it is well tuned. Tried to sing D# and checked on the virtual piano which I have on my computer. It matched. But can you if you learned that "skill" still consider it as perfect pitch or just a form of relative pitch? What is the difference between learned PP and innate PP?