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Re: Absolute pitch.

That observation makes me wonder about the definition of absolute pitch,
then - it seems like AP has been described as an all-or-nothing
phenomenon, something one either possesses or doesn't. I've been a
musician all my life and at various times have had certain pitches
well-memorized. For example, when I only played the piano, I had middle
C memorized. By college, after several years of playing French horn in
various wind ensembles, I also had concert B-flat memorized (and could
identify just about any other pitch in reference to one of those). Now,
several years out of college, I find that my memory of these specific
pitches is muddled - I'm usually close but might mistake one for the
other, or be somewhere in between. However, if I'm working on a piece in
choir, I'll have starting pitches for various pieces memorized. That
means that depending on what we're working on, I'll be able to pull
certain pitches out of the air but not others. So is this AP? Or is it
pitch memory with a long half-life? 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Sarah Hargus Ferguson, Ph.D., CCC-A
Assistant Professor
Department of Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences and Disorders
University of Kansas
Dole Center
1000 Sunnyside Ave., Room 3001
Lawrence, KS  66045
office: (785)864-1116
Speech Acoustics and Perception Lab: (785)864-0610

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Reinhart Frosch [mailto:reinifrosch@BLUEWIN.CH]
> Sent: Friday, April 30, 2004 5:32 AM
> Subject: Absolute pitch.
> The following observation may be partially related
> to absolute pitch:
> During choir rehearsals, the director sometimes
> stops the singing and speaks for a few moments.
> After that, most singers still can sing the tonic
> of the interrupted song. In the brain of those
> who do not possess absolute pitch, the
> corresponding information appears to decay
> with a typical half-life of a few minutes.
> Reinhart Frosch
> (r. Physics Dept., ETH Zurich).
> reinifrosch@bluewin.ch