response to TNLM perfect pitch post
  • Felipe Gasper
    Posts: 775
    http://thenewliturgicalmovement.blogspot.com/2008/05/problem-of-perfect-pitch.html

    (Apparently they took down the comments feature from TNLM??)

    I also have absolute/perfect pitch, but I don’t find that I am any more or less sensitive to intonation issues than other musicians with training similar to my own. Ear training exams, though, are a breeze. :)

    It took a while for me to get used to singing at A=415, but now I’m pretty used to it, having done several concerts at “Baroque pitch” this past year. I even have started to get comfortable playing the organ when it’s transposed--as long as it’s a piece I know. A cantor wanted Dean “Taste and See” taken down a step this Sunday, which, a bit to my surprise, I was able to do. (Historically, my world turns upside-down if I play an A-flat chord and hear something else!)

    Where it does become useful is being able to give pitches to choirs. Even then, though, you have to be careful; I find that giving pitches is when I tend to tense up more! :)
  • pipesnposaune
    Posts: 113
    Felipe,
    I am another of the perfect pitch family!
    Ear training exams are a breeze, unless your theory professor PURPOSEFULLY starts the said music on another note!

    As an organist, it taught me how to transpose. Oh, a transpose knob is the devil! (But what a good practical joke that would be.)
    As a trombonist, I had a rough time tuning 5ths and M/m thirds if the ensemble was not perfectly in tune. However, with practice, I learned how to hear the beats and it became a feeling vs. hearing thing. (And a little bit of faith.)
    As a choir director, that herein lies the difficulty. If anyone has any suggestions on helping choirs with their pitch, and assisting the hearing-impaired director, they would be much appreciated.
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,191
    A famous quote: Absolute pitch is of relative importance, but relative pitch is of absolute importance.

    I haven't read the aforementioned article yet, but I can tell you that after singing in a semi-professional chamber choir for about 8 years, where every rehearsal began with warmups, and those warmups always began on a D major triad (singing down the scale from A to D), I can now pluck A=440 out of the air at random, with little variation.

    I now do the same thing with my choirs, beginning the rehearsal with warmups starting in the key of D. With any luck, many of them will be able to pull the same trick over time.
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    Had I not played a transposing instrument (saxophone) for most of my life, my "pitch" would probably be closer to "perfect" -- as it stands, I have pretty good pitch memory. And if I forget, I just pick up the telephone -- the dial tone is a pretty good "F."
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,191
    By George, Mark's right! (Actually, the dial tone on our office phones is a major third, F/A).
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Mine is too! Just checked against the Online pitchpipe
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,101
    I call it acute pitch memory as all one is doing is memorizing (or is sensitive to) the CPS.