zacxpacx wrote:One of the problems a relative listener faces in the development of perfect pitch is their perspective of the staircase. A purely relative listener views the staircase from the side. All they can see is the ascension of the stairs, not the repetition of colors. To them, the staircase is a vertical line. It is a vertical cross section from top to bottom of the staircase. To begin developing absolute pitch, the relative listener must change their perspective. Luckily, APA already accomplishes this.
This is not actually the case. Most (all?) relative listeners perceive colours on the spiral, and also perceive that the colours repeat. It may take a little training for them to become aware of this fact, but the mechanism is there. Most (all?) relative listeners even have categorical perception of the tones. The difference between relative listeners and absolute listeners is that for the relative listener the colours are relative to each other, so if they hear a certain chord sequence they may find that suddenly the colours have all moved to different places (a modulation, a.k.a. a key change has happened).
The Interval Loader component of ETC trains this kind of categorical relative listening.
Here's the entry from 2003 when Chris first became aware of this phenomenon: http://www.aruffo.com/eartraining/resea ... #intervals
zacxpacx wrote:As for relative pitch -- it should not be a problem. Those with relative pitch don't automatically know the name notes in a piece after given the starting pitch. Using relative pitch to name notes requires focus. ... As long as the player doesn't actively try to use relative pitch to label tones, it shouldn't be too much of an issue.
The problem is that most (all, as far as I know) people who don't have absolute pitch already have a strong mechanism for perceiving tones categorically, and if you give them a task where they have to place tones in categories, they will automatically, unconsciously and without effort use this existing relative mechanism to accomplish the task. The task will therefore improve their relative listening, but it probably won't develop their absolute listening at all.
zacxpacx wrote:I see memorization as a prerequisite for categorical perception.
Memorisation is probably important when training for absolute pitch, but it may be important in the same way breathing is: obviously if you don't breath then you're not going to learn absolute pitch, but mostly you can just take it for granted.
It may be that to develop categorical perception you need to learn some concepts / linguistic tokens / labels / names and the categories will follow from that process, and if you're able to remember what you had for breakfast then you will memorise the categories with no effort in the process.
On the other hand, if you're not training the right concepts or labels etc., then you won't learn to perceive pitches categorically with any amount of repetition.