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Re: absolute pitch & animals

Robert Zatorre wrote:

> I think one has to be very careful when saying that someone or some
> "has absolute pitch". This can mean various different things which are not
> equivalent.

Yes. No animal can have AP in the sense that humans can have it, because
animals have no abstract categories, such as tone names.

In a different context, however one could argue that all animals that have
pitch are likely to have only the "absolute" version of it. "Relative
pitch", i.e. the ability to hear the same interval for C-E as for F-A,
demands a highly complex computation that we have not even started to
understand. It is highly questionable that any animal should have this
ability, simply because none of them has communication signals that are
complex enough to benefit from it, as is the case in human speech.

For this reason we should assume that in animals all pitch is "absolute".


Martin Braun
Neuroscience of Music
S-671 95 Klässbol
web site: http://w1.570.telia.com/~u57011259/index.htm