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Re: the number of fixed categories in absolute pitch

The difference between AP and NAP subjects has been explained by the
assumption that in tasks of absolute pitch identification NAP subjects can
'transmit' about 3 bits on a single frequency dimention, while AP subjects
can transmit about 3 bits on each of two dimensions: Pitch height and
Chroma. (the magical number of 7 plus or minus 2, times two). There are
studies that give as result that AP subjects make more octave errors than
NAP subjects. I would like to scrutinize the experimental setup of the
experiment where the subjects showed the ability of indicating "C plus ca 10
cents". It should have been made sure that the subject was not able to use
relative pitch as a third dimension.
Leon van Noorden

> The number of "fixed categories" is only large, if you test APers over
> several octaves. Within an octave the number of categories (in "western"
> countries) only is 12. And we should not forget that the AP ability only
> concerns the categories within the octave range. Beyond the octave range,
> APers make as many octave confusion errors as non-AP musicians.
> There are, however, large variations within the group of APers. Some can
> identify many pitches between two adjacent categories, like C and C#. They
> can answer something like "C plus ca 10 Cent" or "C plus ca 30 Cent". So,
> some APers actually have well over 100 categories in the octave
> range. [But
> this is not what Ward had in mind. He was referring to semitones.]
> Martin
> --------------------------------
> Martin Braun
> Neuroscience of Music
> S-671 95 Klässbol
> Sweden
> web site: http://w1.570.telia.com/~u57011259/index.htm