Perfect Pitch is a myth, marketed by some one unscrupulous.
You can learn to sight read, always breath right, and listen to recordings of yourself. Or use a pitch fork and meter, and practice!
Probably not at this point. I just read an article that people who are born with perfect pitch usually lose it after the first few years of life if no one recognizes that they have it. You can google celebs who have had perfect pitch. At any rate, I don’t believe you need it to be good in music. I’m a professional opera singer and my husband is a pianist/symphony conductor and neither of us has perfect pitch. I certainly have good relative pitch and he can point out when someone in a section is playing a flat and not a natural but I think that’s muscle memory and good listening skills. Sorry, but we usually lose that ability after the age of 3, if we ever had it to begin with. You’ll be just fine without it.
Some people are born with it, some develop it. I knew a guy in high school that could name ANY note in an instant. I’ve sort of developed it – I can pick out an A from years of tuning in the orchestra and can often work out the note from there.
Whether you can attain perfect pitch if you do not already have it is questionable. Certainly, though, you can improve your pitch with practice and vocal excercises. My reasoning on this is that I think a great deal depends on your hearing and how you perceive sound not just your vocal cords.
Have fun trying!
That is a tough one. I dont know about born with it but its possible.
I am very musical but do not have perfect pitch, my husband has ZERO musical talent and is tone deaf. Our eldest daughter (16) has been able to sight read since grade school and according to her current vocal teach she has perfect pitch.
Our youngest daughter (9) is just like her daddy. Tone deaf and cant carry a tune to save her life.
Perhaps some are born with it but never have that skill discovered because they are not into music or their parents arent into it to get them into it.
So basically…..I have no clue!
If you’re asking about ear training, people do learn it all the time. Some schools have specifice classes on ear training, and I’ve heard there’s excellent software available online. Perfect pitch, however, is another matter.
I’m a singer and was born with perfect pitch. It’s not a blessing, it’s a curse, and it’s extremely rare. Anything that is even slightly off key send shivers down my spine like fingernails on a chalkboard. By slightly, I mean notes that other people think sound just fine, or that even a good music coach may find in the “acceptable” range, sound horrible to me. I’ve repeatedly had to stop and ask musicians during rehearsals to tune instruments and in frustration once or twice have ended up in a tearful battle with the miscreant. My voice coach meets me in different practice rooms each week instead of her own office so we can use whatever piano is in the best tune. She only puts up with me because she knew someone in college who also had perfect pitch, and she understands how awful it can be for you.
My accompanist that I rehearse with will happily work at a piano that’s out of key. She tells me “You know the notes, just sing them right and ignore the piano.” That’s great advice because when you’re on stage, you can’t stop in the middle of an opera and demand they change out the piano.
Working with castmates is difficult. How do you come in when the person you take your note from is off key? If you come in right on pitch, you voices will clash, but you know have to do it anyways, stay in charachter and stick to your guns. After all, almost no one but you will hear the problem. (It’s taken me YEARS to accept that the audience doesn’t hear all the bad notes I do)
Worst of all, no matter how much control you have on your voice, no one is perfecftly in the middle of each note they sing every time. I hear my own notes and hear they aren’t perfect and have to control the reflex to stop or cringe or run off the stage and collapse in a puddle of sobbing tafeta. I’ve had to take all kinds of relaxation technique classes for actors/singers to overcome the issue.
Yeah, I’m a freak, but I can learn very complicated music very very easily. I immediately recognize tunes I heard once ten years ago, and can tell you the circumstance, like what movie or musical it was from. Castmates love me because I keep everyone going during rehearsals when things are falling apart, and can get any ensemble I’m in right back on track quickly on stage should anything go awry.
My five year old daughter has already appeared in Menotti’s Amahl with me, as well as in Kurt Weil’s Street Scene. At a kid’s song circle at a local bookstore, she had to ask the young man playing guitar to retune his guitar. Twice. In an hour. She was right! I don’t know if I should be proud or sad for her. Be careful what you wish for.
yes, it is. As Yogini pointed out, the latest research has shown that most Westerners lose their perfect pitch as they learn to speak.. Most Westerners can train a relative pitch along with their musical talents.
Some very few retain their ability, as in cathouse.
A lot of studies have been done on people who are considered “musical savants”. they are mostly autistic people, and their musical ability helps compensate for the other, tragic flaws in their brain’s filtering systems.
On the other hand, Chinese and other intoned language speakers ( where the pitch of the word means as much, if not more, than the word itself) have up to a 60% perfect pitch rate, because it is trained along with and not replaced by spoken language.
As far as you are concerned, be happy with relative pitch. I understand cathouse all too well, and after years of performing, have learned to disregard that horrible aching feeling in my molars whenever the intonation is off.
I have perfect pitch, and I agree with some of the others – it’s hard to say whether you’re born with it or if it’s developed. I think I have it because my parents listened to a lot of music when I was young, and because there was a piano in the house that I messed around on a lot. I started honing it in middle school when I’d identify random noises (bells, buzzers, etc) to get faster at it, and soon, every time I heard a piece I could picture the notes. My theory is, people develop the capacity to have perfect pitch at an early age, but once you have that capacity you can teach yourself how to use it whenever you want.
My boyfriend is also a musician, and I think he could
teach himself to identify notes if he wanted to. (So I guess you’d say he has the capacity to have perfect pitch. Latent perfect pitch, I guess.) Whenever he sings a song, it’s always in exactly the right key. If you can do that, then I suggest you develop your skill like I did. It sure helps with your dictations! Easy A’s in your theory classes, and I think it helps you follow classical music better. It sure helps me play in tune on the violin, as I’m sure it’d help with a lot of instruments (singing, especially).
how do you know you have perfect pitch, unless someone with perfect pitch tells you, you have perfect pitch??????
I would think not you could learn the pitches.
A lot of people seem to be confused as to what “prefect pitch” is. It’s not only the ability to sing and/or play in tune, but people who have this gift can hear any note and recognize it as a specific pitch.
you can’t lear it. 1 in a million babies are born with it. however you can train your ear, it is difficult but as long as you know the correct calibration of the pitch you can learn the intunation of the pitch. being able to learn tuning comes with a good ear and experiance. good luck
Hey Lakingbates…Its good to see that you have another great question. Since i know you pretty well and know that you are a percussion major I understand that this subject is frustrating. Percussionist, pre-college, to an extent do not use pitch recognition as much as a wind player. I found myself very behind in this category when I entered college. Watching the students that claimed “perfect pitch” or “absolute pitch” was astounding. I respected them very much for their ability. I soon realized that there are many different levels of this. There are the true people that process absolute pitch that can name notes from the air or wind, and there are those that are trained to recognize pitches in a musical sense, like sight singing courses in college. Then there are people that can tell if notes are sharp or flat, but not name notes from their value. With much work Bates you can fit into the second category. How important is this???
I wouldn’t put all your effort into it. It is much more important to play your instrument well and understand the theory of music, but saying this…you need to practice this because it will only help with your musical career. Playing timpani is probably the most difficult to play if you have no pitch knowledge.
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