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Absolute pitch; perfect pitch

I'd like to jump in with what I hope will be a clarification about
terminology.  The terms "absolute pitch" and "perfect pitch" have
been employed somewhat interchangeably and indiscriminantly for the
last 100 years in the literature.  A group of us (Dix Ward, Ed Burns,
Diana Deutsch, Richard Parncutt, and me) have tried to sort this out
-- see for example the dictionary entry on Absolute Pitch that
Parncutt and I wrote for the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

The term "absolute pitch" maps onto the experimental psychology
literature of absolute judgments.  The idea here is that a person can
be considered to be making absolute judgements when they can reliably
and consistently attach labels to points along some sensory
continuum.  Absolute pitch is taken to be the ability to label (or to
produce) pitches without any reference to an external standard.  It
is the ability to do this without reference that makes it absolute,
in the experimental psychology sense, as opposed to a relational
judgment.  In other words, the judgment is not made in relation to
another stimulus, but is made absolutely context-free.

There is another skill that some people have which is the ability to
detect whether a tone is perfectly in-tune or not.  This is not
"absolute pitch" nor is it "perfect pitch" if we assume that PP is
just another way of referring to AP.  There isn't a standard way to
refer to this ability that I think of as "accurate intonation."  AP
possessors aren't any better at this  as a group than expert
musicians are.

Dan Levitin