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Re: any examples of acquired absolute pitch?

Paul T. Brady (1970). Teach Yourself Absolute Pitch in 365 Hard Lessons, JASA, 48, 88-ff.


At 02:41 AM 4/18/2008, Anthony Knittel wrote:
Hi, i've found some interesting comments on absolute pitch on this mailing list and was wondering if anyone has heard of any examples of people who have acquired absolute pitch somehow during their later lives, ie not in early childhood development.

There is a clear trend between absolute pitch (AP) and autism, and many autistic savants with musical talents (which tend to be more in terms of music reproduction ability than creative composition) that have been examined also have AP. There are numerous examples of people who have acquired special abilities such as those exhibited by autistic savants as a result of injury or other non-developmental processes. I haven't however heard of any examples of people who have acquired AP later in life, it would be very useful if anyone knows of any examples.

There are suggestions that AP development is an independent process that is present in autistic and non-autistic people, and that presence of AP is pre-requisite for development of special musical abilities for savants. This model would suggest that cases of later-life AP development would be unlikely, however if there are any examples of people developing AP later in life for example through brain injury, similar to how savant-like special abilities have been shown to be developed (essentially spontaneously), it would be very useful.



a couple of references:

** < http://www.brams.umontreal.ca/plab/publications/article/32>Absolute pitch in autism: a case study, L Mottron, I Peretz, S Belleville, N Rouleau - Neurocase, 1999

Musical savants: exceptional skill in the mentally retarded, Miller L K, Lawrence Erlbaum, 1989: 266

Absolute pitch in blind musicians, Roy H. Hamilton, Alvaro Pascual-Leone and Gottfried Schlaug, NeuroReport Vol 15 No 5, 9 April 2004

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