What Seems to Me Like Considerable Progress

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Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 7:44 am

What Seems to Me Like Considerable Progress

Postby chowhoundallthetime » Thu May 04, 2017 8:05 am

I am attempting to acquire absolute pitch (like many in this forum) and have reached the point where at this website (http://tonedear.com/ear-training/absolu ... pitch-test) in a sample of about 200 notes (on the chromatic setting) I can identify all the notes with about 95 percent accuracy, missing about 5-10 in about 200. I am a near 26 year old male. I have more difficulty identifying notes when they are not on the piano and are sung (guitars and strings and harpsichords are easier) and much difficulty when they are in a chord. My identification time ranges from basically immediate (when it comes to notes like B flat) to 5-7 seconds (with notes like F and F#). When I listen to a song, the note names do not shout out their names to me as it does for some with absolute pitch. My note identification is not that fast yet. I can sing certain notes with a good deal of accuracy (like G and C and B flat) and with others I'll be off by about a semitone. To get to this point, I associated the twelve pitches with melodies and then proceeded from there. I can do all of this without singing the notes out to myself using a pitch pipe, though I do sing them after I guess them correctly (to solidify them). I know there will be those that think I am forever contaminating my absolute pitch with relative pitch using this method, but I no longer sing out the note and if I continue to improve in this manner, then even if my absolute pitch is not true absolute pitch, it may turn out to be functionally indistinct from absolute pitch learned at age 3. I know that there are those who claim to have had absolute pitch from a young age but who only are able to recognize notes on a piano, have difficulty producing notes, and cannot recognize the notes that car horns and microwave beeps make. If that is absolute pitch (and it is not according to Wikipedia), I have already achieved it.

I subscribe to the opinion that absolute pitch is a continuum and even those who have had the ability since age 5 to name notes are not all equally accurate and automatic when it comes to note naming and note production. Some are better on the instrument they grew up in. Many get confused at the upper and lower ends of the keyboard, with very low and high notes. Some can tell the difference between A440 and A441 (and can produce for you the difference), while others with absolute pitch can only say that they both, more or less sound like A.

For those that doubt what I'm saying, the research is finally beginning to come round to my experience and others' of learning the skill in later life (I'm 26). Here's a 2015 study which suggests that AP is more of a continuum than the scientific community has perhaps made it out to be: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 7715000621. I assume those at this forum, however, are already aware of this article, as well as this study, which has attracted a lot of attention: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10. ... 7612473310.
I know that the conclusions of these studies are debate-worthy and what they actually indicate may be considerably less than what they seem to, but it seems probable to me that note naming actually can turn into the inhuman like skill of naming notes in complex chords and simply knowing how piece is configured note-wise, unconsciously, listening to the piece only once.

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