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Why I think Adults can develop Perfect Pitch? (Read 1778 times)

Offline jason_sioco

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Why I think Adults can develop Perfect Pitch?
« on: March 08, 2019, 04:20:18 PM »
Let me briefly share my background: I am not born with Perfect Pitch. I did not grow up with a musical family. I did not play an instrument until I was 14. I did not train my ear until I was 21. I was already 24 when I first discovered the phenomenon of Perfect Pitch in 2013. However, I did not have the right tools and methods to achieve my goal in Perfect Pitch that I was left floundering. Although I continued practicing my Relative Pitch. Fast forward to 2019, I finally have the right tools and methods to develop Perfect Pitch. I simply use a DAW and a flashcard software called Anki to quiz myself with the sounds of notes, harmonic intervals, chords, and voicings in their absolute name. But the method that made me successful in Perfect Pitch was the Eguchi Perfect Pitch Method. I just omitted the part where you have to raise up a colored paper if you hear a particular chord, because I felt it was unnecessary. But what I applied in the method is its Domino effect style. What I mean by that is that if I guessed all the variables correctly, I add one new thing the next day. If I made a mistake, I never add anything till all the particular set of variables of that day are mastered. This was a day by day thing to the point that I memorized 15 chords and voicings by their absolute name (the notes from bottom to top. I am confident that by the end of the year I will have memorized 200 chords and more. As for the Relative Pitch, today I can recognize various chord progressions of various tunes and TV and radio commercials. The other day I listened to Perfect by Ed Sheeran for the first time and I was able to recognize the relative chords by ear in just one listen. When it comes to relative pitch, my next goal is to recognize melodies in just one listen and that's on the way. Anyways, I believe Perfect Pitch can be developed. Those who say that only children can develop Perfect Pitch, never put an ounce of effort to develop the skill. I am one of the few anomalies, who practice perfect pitch every day. This came from the age old idea that stemmed from a time before computers were invented. In the 21st century, we have now the tools and technologies to help us develop the skill of Perfect Pitch.

Offline pencilart3

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Re: Why I think Adults can develop Perfect Pitch?
«Reply #1 on: May 14, 2019, 05:41:10 PM »
Pretty impressive but sounds like a lot of work. Why are you doing all that?
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Offline georgey

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Re: Why I think Adults can develop Perfect Pitch?
«Reply #2 on: May 14, 2019, 11:09:05 PM »
I am age 60.  Sometimes I think I can develop perfect pitch at my late age if I practice 2 hours a day for 6 months, then do another 10 minutes a day for the rest of my life to maintain the skill. 

2 thoughts:

1) I probably can't do as I think I can. Example: I may be able to identify a piano note pretty well, but fall apart when played by a tuba for example. 

2) WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO DO THIS????  Maybe if you were an a cappella singer it might help?  Other than that, I can see no reason to waste time learning this.  My guess is it come naturally for some.

EDIT:
Just to make sure we are talking about the same thing:
Perfect Pitch: The ability to recognize the pitch of a note or produce any given note.
I assume that the test would also include notes that are out of tune - example be able to say that an A of 430 hz (as opposed to correct 440 hz) is an "A" that is a little flat.

Some of the other items that you talk about in you OP (knowing 200 chords with different voicings, etc.) sounds like it might be beneficial though.  Not sure exactly what you mean by some of this.  This could help with things if you are interested in composing, or improvising or transcribing music by ear, etc.

Offline ted

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Re: Why I think Adults can develop Perfect Pitch?
«Reply #3 on: May 15, 2019, 09:39:05 AM »
While I commend your discipline I have no desire to attempt the exercise because I doubt it would improve my creative process. My teacher had perfect pitch, together with a remarkable short-term memory, which enabled him to repeat anything he heard at once up to a surprising degree of complexity. Nobody could admire his teacher more than I did mine, but were his improvisations more numerous or interesting than mine are now ? In all honesty, no, not to my ears. Therefore I wouldn’t bother. Of course, for those who want to transcribe, the skill must be a tremendous asset, but I don’t want to do that often enough to justify years of work.
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Offline maxim3

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Re: Why I think Adults can develop Perfect Pitch?
«Reply #4 on: May 15, 2019, 05:17:04 PM »
Show me a few adults who developed perfect pitch after childhood, and can PROVE it.

Otherwise, *yawn*

(P.S. I mean the kind of proof that scientists or law courts would accept -- utterly rigid and harsh.)

Online keypeg

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Re: Why I think Adults can develop Perfect Pitch?
«Reply #5 on: May 16, 2019, 12:27:03 AM »
Show me a few adults who developed perfect pitch after childhood, and can PROVE it.

Otherwise, *yawn*

(P.S. I mean the kind of proof that scientists or law courts would accept -- utterly rigid and harsh.)
It is usually tested through naming, and it is defined through naming.  "Perfect pitch" means that you recognize a pitch as distinct, and possibly, that you can produce it.  You can see that an apple is red without having the word "red", and the fact that you cannot come up with the word "red" does not prove that you cannot see this as a distinct colour.  If you do have the naming test, then according to what tuning?  A=440 alone?

The bigger question is how is it useful?  I ended up developing something like that, through an exercise that was meant for something else.  I didn't find much use to it, and I didn't push it any further.  Btw, I was in my early fifties.

Online keypeg

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Re: Why I think Adults can develop Perfect Pitch?
«Reply #6 on: May 16, 2019, 12:29:17 AM »
Btw, the exercise I used, which was meant for something else required nothing more than voice and a piano for double checking once in a while.  It took maybe 10 minutes a day or less.  Nothing complicated, strenuous, tiring, no flashcards and other devices. Simplicity.

Offline georgey

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Re: Why I think Adults can develop Perfect Pitch?
«Reply #7 on: May 18, 2019, 10:37:33 PM »
It is usually tested through naming, and it is defined through naming.  "Perfect pitch" means that you recognize a pitch as distinct, and possibly, that you can produce it.  You can see that an apple is red without having the word "red", and the fact that you cannot come up with the word "red" does not prove that you cannot see this as a distinct colour.  If you do have the naming test, then according to what tuning?  A=440 alone?

The bigger question is how is it useful?  I ended up developing something like that, through an exercise that was meant for something else.  I didn't find much use to it, and I didn't push it any further.  Btw, I was in my early fifties.

Great that you may have developed PP at a later age!  Just for the sake of discussion:

Your definition: "Perfect pitch" means that you recognize a pitch as distinct.  I guess I have perfect pitch.  I can tell when 2 pitches are not the same.  Distinct: Recognizably different in nature from something else of a similar type.  I’m pretty sure this is not what you meant though.

The definition of perfect pitch that I have seen in several places is similar to this definition found in Grove Concise Dictionary of music:

Perfect Pitch (aka Absolute Pitch): The ability to name the pitch of a note, or to sing a named note, without reference to previously sounded one.

The problem I have with these definitions is it sounds like you have a choice, either name the note or sing the note.  I wonder if the definition really meant to use AND which implies you need to be able to do BOTH.  This is what I would think.  If you are unable to sing, or hum or whistle a good note, then be able to play it on a slide whistle.  ALSO, how do you name a pitch?:  A physicist will say “Give the exact hertz of the pitch.”  But this is not practical.  Example: “That note is 341.7 hz.”

As far as A-440hz goes - Modern practices: A440 is widely used as concert pitch in the United Kingdom and the United States. In continental Europe the frequency of A4 commonly varies between 440 Hz and 444 Hz. 

From what I read:: The smallest interval a human can hear depends somewhat on the register and timbre of the tone (and it varies from person to person), but generally speaking the smallest detectable difference is around 5-6 cents, according to this study from 2006. 

My thought: 444 to 440 is about 15.6 cents. I would like someone to be able to say the A=444 is a "slightly sharp A”.  I would also like that person to be able to sing an A = 440hz.  As far as being able to say if an A is 110hz, 220hz, 440hz, 880 hz 1760 hz, etc.:  I would like someone to do this if the note is a piano note.  This may be tough if played on other instruments.  Not sure what a test would require.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Why I think Adults can develop Perfect Pitch?
«Reply #8 on: May 19, 2019, 11:47:46 AM »
I don't have perfect pitch in the traditional sense but I can listen to something and then play it on the piano (playing by ear). I don't connect the sounds in terms of actual letter descriptions but I can hear the notes and then recreate them on the piano. To me this has a lot more usefulness in actual playing. For those who write music I guess being able to say the letters is more important especially if you are composing away from an instrument.
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Offline gabriel99

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Re: Why I think Adults can develop Perfect Pitch?
«Reply #9 on: May 22, 2019, 07:20:28 PM »
Why would anyone want perfect pitch?

It's close to useless for musicians. It' more a tv thing than anything else.

Online keypeg

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Re: Why I think Adults can develop Perfect Pitch?
«Reply #10 on: May 22, 2019, 11:49:32 PM »
Why would anyone want perfect pitch?

It's close to useless for musicians. It' more a tv thing than anything else.
True story:

I was in a choir years ago, and we joined another choir to perform, I think, at a church.  We'd sing our songs, they'd sing their songs, but we each learned one of each other's songs, so that the two choirs performed together twice.  The choirmaster of the other choir seemed to be a human pitch pipe - to have perfect pitch.  She simple hummed out C, E, G or whatever instead of having the piano strike a chord, and her choir tuned themselves to that.  So....

.... our joint song comes along, they line up to join us, and this lady with perfect pitch is right behind me, singing into my ear.  Trouble is, a) the piano was flat, b) our altos drifted flatter with everyone gradually drifting flatter with them and sort of staying in harmony with that.  The PP lady, however, stayed at A = 440 throughout ... discordant with the piano, and with the choir.  She did not seem to be able to adjust.

Otherwise: If someone with PP as their primary hearing, is exposed to a piece that they are used to hearing in one key, and it's in another key, it seems to totally throw them.  Since my main reference is relative, I wouldn't even notice.

Offline Bob

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Re: Why I think Adults can develop Perfect Pitch?
«Reply #11 on: May 25, 2019, 11:35:05 PM »
I think something is possible, a different way of listening, that the ears/brain get set listening one way.  I've noticed I can recognize certain pitches once in a while if it's the same orchestration/voicing.  It's like one moment in music got set in my brain and when it comes up again it's recognized.  I don't know if it's the same as perfect pitch, but when I know what the pitch is for the note in the melody in those moments, it's got to be the same note later.  But the voicing/orchestration is the same, so I think that might be more it rather than a specific pitch color.
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