Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Does anyone here have....


Violina
 Share

Recommended Posts

I think that this is something that you develop over time. My father in law does a lot of bird watching, and he developed a very acurate ear such that he could be able to identify birds by their chirping. I was impressed that he once could tell whether my violin's A string was flat or sharp without a reference pitch (A-440). He claims that he learned this because some female and male birds make the same sound, but in different frequencies. So, I believe you can train it. But I'm not trained, yet. :-)

Acacio.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From my days as a singer, I've been in quite a lot of discussions of perfect pitch. I do not have it, but have known people who have. Also, as far as training your ear, in my experience, you can usually train your ear for one note, and then figure the rest from it... but there are, indeed, people with real, honest-to-goodness perfect pitch. We would pretty much use them as pitchpipes when they were around and we were a-capella.

The people I've known with perfect pitch have not expressed actual pain at incorrect intonation (at least, not any more than I do), but they definitely know when any note is off. My impression is that there is a certain amount of relativity involved in music that tends to be a little more important than perfect pitch to those people. (and to me, for that matter.)

I also think that relativity is important for those with "learned" perfect pitch, because there are so many constant or frequent sounds we here that are of a consistant frequency - for example, the humidifier in my dining room... we may have a lot of notes that we hear regularly memorized, and figure our pitches based on those? Just a thought.

Again, this is just from my experience. Others may have heard different accounts from those with "perfect pitch."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I DO, I DO!

LBlake is just about right on the money!

Perfect pitch is when one can identify the note perfectly without relying on hearing a relative note prior to identifying the new one. People who can identify a note after hearing a note prior that gives some sort of relative location, have "relative pitch." For example: if you went to the piano and just played one note, I could tell you what that note is right off the bat. That is perfect pitch.

I do have perfect pitch. In my personal experience, people have not sprawled and squirmed in pain due to not-so-perfect intonation, including me. I think the "pain" that people refer to is more associated with emotions/feelings from the phrasing of music rather than actual physical pain. Sometimes a great moment/climax in a piece can be ruined if a few notes are off... People with "relative pitch" can also hear intonation fluxes, but might not be able to detect it if the whole passage is off.

Yeah, it's a "pain" when you hear that some notes are a little off, because you know it's wrong. But you learn to deal with it.

I think that the most difficult experience I have with perfect pitch is having to aurally transpose on sight. In my sight-singing classes, sometimes we have to sing pieces in a different key to capacitate vocal ranges. It's difficult when you see the original notes on the music, then hear something else. It really threw me off, but I've learned to adjust. Actually, relative pitch was something I had to develop during my first few years of college.

Relative pitch is something that people can learn how to do. As far as I know, there is really not a way to "learn" perfect pitch." I guess that one is just born with it!

Cheers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One who can tune a string instrument by plucking open strings only,or who can discern, when sounding a series of strings, if any are "out of tune" surely has relative pitch, which to me means the ability to recognize intevals. Which reminds me of the following:

Two musicians were walking by a Cathederal being renovated...just as they passed, workers installing a huge bell in the tower

dropped the thing and it fell to the concrete floor giving off a tremendous reverbration . One of the musicians shouted " What the hell was that??? The other replied...B flat.

Bob H

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm. I don't know. I don't think there is really any training involved for those with "perfect pitch". I think they feel the notes - they know for sure what they are. it's reading the music and learning the names of the notes that they have to train themselves on. For me, remembering learning music, I knew what an "A" looked like long before I could guess what it sounded like. And even still, it's only a guess what it sounds like - I'm certainly not sure of it. But I'm absolutely sure when I look at my music that it's an A. Maybe people with perfect pitch DO have some sort of inner sound that they naturally use as a base for relative pitch...

but the difference in all the people I've known with "true" perfect pitch, and "learned" perfect pitch (which I would agree with Rosanna is really relative pitch), is that the former don't ever remember being without perfect pitch. The latter always remember learning it. For some it is easier than others, but it's still learned.

So, even if "true" perfect pitch is somehow environmentally (or even internally) relative to those who have it, it's still distinctly different than any trained ability to recognise a pitch. So, just semantics.

That's what I think, anyway. smile.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LBlake: I agree with you 110%! (I know, 110%... I'm just a musician...)

I'm sure that some people may just learn one pitch and use relative pitch to figure out other notes. But, what would you call remembering that one pitch?

If it makes you feel any better, I'm sure that I can identify the pitch without relying on the prior theory.

Again, I'm sure that there are people who are more comfortable to hearing some pitches, and use them as reference points to figure out other notes.

Cheers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

....the absolute ear/the perfect pitch (forgive me, I am not sure about the English term)? What is it actually? I thought it is when your ear simply cannot mishear a pitch and I've heard of 'horror' stories of people with this thing, who moan e.g. after being in concerts, how painful it is, because they hear even all of the tiny faults in the music. It must be great to have one, especially for a violinist! Wish I'd have it, but dream on... laugh.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I have perfect pitch. Here's the deal...if I hear a note just out of the blue (no reference note), I can identify it. Also, I can hum a particular note without first hearing it. When I listen to the radio, I know what keys the songs are being played in. (Sometimes it's a little difficult to distinguish between the keys of Eb & E, or B & C, for example, but if I listen hard enough, I'll know.) Now, if I'm tuning a guitar or fiddle, I can get a string pretty close to perfect. For example, when I restring a guitar & all the strings are out of whack, I usually start tuning to the G string. Once I get the G string tuned and then use a tuner, the string may be 100% in tune according to the tuner. Or sometimes it'll be just a tiny bit flat or sharp. Whether I have perfect pitch or not, I know I have a good ear for music!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to cover this topic with my band director in High School ('61-'64). At that time, the theory was that some have perfect pitch and some have relative pitch (some have no pitch at all smile.gif). The perfect pitch, you are born with. The relative pitch is developed. I can hear the intervals and tell if they are in tune or not, once I know that a reference pitch is in tune.

My band director's 12-year-old (with perfect pitch) could tell me out of the blue what note I was playing and could tell me if it was in tune or not. The director mentioned that he thought he might have perfect pitch as, untrained as he was in music, he was copying Beatles music down in the correct keys by listening to the record.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another clue for analyzing pitch is tone color, or timbre. For instance, people who specialize in a certain istrument will recognize the color of each note giving a reference with which to identify (through relative pitch) all others. For instance, flute-players can recognize exactly and name the pitch that is the first note of the solo in "Afternoon of a Faun." They don't have to hear any accompaniment nor any other notes to recognize the timbre of C#. Likewise, the first high E in the flute solo in the first movement of Brahms Symphony #1 can stand alone and be recognized. Intimacy with every single note gives this ability, and it's a good reason to play all the scales and all the arpeggios in all of their keys and forms. Perfect pitch is aside from and different from this.

I have heard that even people with excellent relative pitch might have a hard time making the change from playing at A=440 or 442 down to A=415. My daughter told me that she found she had a tendency at first to creep up the fingerboard on her Baroque viola with low pitch, migrating the pitch upward.

AB

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for perfect pitch- I've got it. It makes tuning easier I guess but for me it's mainly being able to recognize a note when it's played, not so much whether it's in tune or not. I've heard it considered a curse for musicians because they always know when something is off. I don't think it has too much to do with playing ability, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also have perfect pitch, but, since it's just a type of memory, it's best when I hear instruments I'm around most. For example, last night our furnace was making a very clear pitch, but because it was an unfamiliar timbre, I had to stop and hum the pitch before I could identify it. But had I heard it on a violin or a piano or any standard orchestral instrument I could have identified it immediately.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

About the acquisition of perfect pitch, there's article on NY times published on Nov. 5:

Most native speakers of languages that use tones to convey meaning may have a form of perfect pitch, according to new research. The results may suggest that many or even most babies are born with perfect pitch but lose it if they do not learn a tonal language or undergo early musical training.

Thre's more to the article, but the online version only offers this much without a fee.

Victoria

www.wenholee.org

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have one too, and I must have been born with it. My parents told me that I could identify not only a single note on the piano, but identify a whole scale (name a scale without looking at piano) when I was about 3 1/2 year old. And I can usually name the notes correctly even the sound is produced by a car honk or tea kettle, as long as the pitch is focused. Funny thing is that my "A" is tuned around 440. So every time we bought a new tape recorder that rotated slightly faster or slower (and you will not believe how sloppy they can be!)the tapes recorded on previous machines sounded slightly sharp or flat, which bothered me a lot. I also have trouble listening to "authentic performance" CDs with A tuned significantly lower than 440. To me, some of them just sound half step flat. Transpositions can be tricky for people with perfect pitch. To me, it is a nightmare. I have to literally reconstruct the whole piece in my head before playing a single note. Ugh!

As far as detecting out-of-tune notes, I don't think having perfect pitch makes any difference at all, as long as one has a good relative pitch. I have met some violinists who have perfect pitch playing glaringly out-of-tune and did not seem to mind a single bit. I think having a perfect pitch can be useful in some occasion, but do not feel under-privilaged if one does not happened to have one. In fact, if one does a lot of vocal accompanying or arranging, it is sometimes better not to have one:-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have decent relative pitch. But my chorus teacher has perfect pitch. For example, in rehearsal today we sang some of the Hallelujah Chorus and she talked about it a while and then sung part of it without the piano. Still perfectly in tune- she checked against the piano afterwards. She can hear one out of tune note in the last row of the altos. I hear wrong note sometimes in orchestra and chorus, but not often. And in orchestra there are MANY wrong/out of tune notes. But I always can hear when I'm out of tune myself, which is way too often. blush.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have perfect pitch -- perhaps I was born with it, but my violin teacher has a method of training very young students which works pretty well if it is done daily. I think the hardest thing about having perfect pitch is that when I was younger I had a hard time adjusting to playing with a piano accompaniment when the piano was out of tune. I heard my part according to my perfect pitch and had to be reminded to play to the pitch of the piano. But once I was aware of that it wasn't a problem any more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 months later...

I, like many of the people in this thread, have perfect pitch aswell. I have not always had it, but have developed it, especially over the last couple of years. For a long time I had about a 50% note reproduction and recognition rate (usually I'd be off by a fifth) but I have increased it over the years to 100%. I think that the biggest contributing factor to this ability is simply singing as much as possible! I truly believe that is something that can be developed. There is computer software that can help you with it (Practica Musica, etc...), but it is not necessary. A piano and a blind fold works just fine!

On another note, I once had a teacher who had perfect pitch and perfect rhythm! If you asked him to snap 86 bpm he could do it within a beat or two. We would double check him with a metronome, but he was always right!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

as a child i had perfect pitch-or at leat relative pitch, but by the time I was in theory and ear training classes at Manhattan School of Music (my alma mater) it had become only good relative pitch. A friend who is a psychologist who did extensive work with musicians said htat this is not uncommon. Anyone else with this experience?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everyone has it but I think they do not know how to use it. Tinitus is related to it. The sound of silence is related to it.

I found out how to use it when tuning things over the years. A perfect broad spectrum G feels good to me but a dissonant source is grating and will give me a headache. The more harmonic overtones present the better.

All the sounds around us have some element of pitch in them.

I discovered that some refrigerators humm around G.

smile.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think I have perfect pitch, but I think I come pretty close. I can't always tell you what a single note played on a piano is, but I don't often miss. At a craft fair I stopped to talk to a fellow who was selling various gongs he made himself and sold for use in meditation. He was explaining them to me when he struck one of them and I said what is that, an F? It didn't sound quite right. He said, it's almost an F and explained the gongs were tuned differently for some reason. I was surprised I was correct. Odd thing is I have more difficulty the lower the notes get, but I can almost always identify any note above middle C. Maybe that's because my only other musical training was on the flute?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I seem to have something like perfect pitch, if I suddenly test myself in front of a keyboard, after being away from music for a few hours, or more.

But it can sometimes be up to a semitone low, which corresponds to the old piano we had at home throught my childhood.

I guess I have perfect pitch then.

I never tried counting the vibrations per second!

I also think that it is only possible if a person is slightly focused (deep down), but that anyone can sometimes be wrong if he is not in that state of mind.

(If someone feels so strongly against this, that he wants to argue my last point, maybe he doesn't understand what I mean by state of mind. [i mean, I think it is easier to be absent-minded regarding this, than it is to walk into a tree]).

S.Taylor

[This message has been edited by staylor (edited 11-30-2000).]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...