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Re: Absolute pitch discussion
Is there any chance that the bimodal distribution found in Athos et al.
could be explained by the way to compute scores ? What I understood is
that exact correct answer gave a score of 1, and an error of a semitone
gave a score of .75. But this way to compute scores does seems to me to
advantage bimodal distribution.
I'm far from beeing a specialist... but I tried to imagine what could be
the different kind of subjects that would populate the distribution :
- Very good AP subject => gives score of 36.
- Quite good AP subject. For example, knows a few absolute tones, and
has very good relative pitch. May do some mistakes, but only a few and
small errors (<1 semitone) => should give a score >36×.75=27, i.e.
considered as AP.
- Not so good AP subject. Knows fewer absolute tones, and has only quite
good relative pitch. For example, we can imagine that for intervals
greater than an octave, the error can exceed one tone. Such a subject
may probably produce a lot a errors limited to 1 tone. But since 1 tone
error count as zero... The overall score would probably be close to zero.
- Subject without AP but good relative pitch. Since the test is a
sequence of tones, the subject with good relative pitch should be able,
if he adpots such a strategy, to refine his judgement along the test. He
should then make smaller errors than the last category.
- Subject without AP and without relative pitch. Should answer
aproximatly at random.
So it seems to me that the continuum between AP expert and subject
without any pitch naming skill exists, but that the way to compute
scores advantages the apparition of a bimodal distribution. Do you think
it is possible ?
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