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Re: Absolute frequency / Perfect Pitch ??


your color example is true for such coarse categories as red and green, but
not necessarily for finer shades of colors. I recently came across the
following section from the preface to Diana Raffman's book "Language, Music,
and Mind", which talks exactly about that:

"It turns out that some [...] perceptual properties cannot be *remembered*.
For example, we cannot remember---in the sense of being able to re-identify
or recognize by inspection (e.g., by looking)---precise colors. We can
remember red and bue, even scarlet and indigo, as such, but we cannot
remember precise *shades* of red and blue. In more traditional philosophical
terms, we can remember the determinable (viz., the general categories) but
not their determinates (viz. the finest values we can discriminate within
those categories). Similarly, we can remember augmented fourths and major
sixths as such, but not the specific "determinate" intervals we can
discriminate within those general interval categories."

Has anybody heard of people having an "absolute" perception of (shades of)
colors? Maybe painters? Ok, this is an auditory list...


| Kevin,
| the term "absolute" in absolute pitch does not refer to a standard pitch,
| but to an absolute memory of pitch. What goes into this memory is a matter
| of learning.
| Absolute memory in this case means long-term memory. "Normal" persons,
| without absolute pitch, only have a short-term memory of pitch (called
| relative pitch).
| To give an example from vision where things are the other way: Most of us
| have an absolute memory of color. We don't have to put a red ball on a
| table in order to see that it's red.
| Martin