Archives of Acoustics, 32, 4(S), pp. 193-196, 2007

Case studies on absolute pitch

Sylwia Makomaska
Warsaw University, Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28, 00-325 Warszawa

Absolute pitch (AP) seems to be one of the most remarkable phenomena of the longterm
auditory memory. AP possessors can identify or also produce musical pitches (e.g. C,
C#, D, etc.) without using any external reference tone. The aim of the present investigation
was to determine the prevalence of AP in students of Polish music schools. In the first part
of the investigation pitch-naming test with piano tones was applied to about 1100 subjects.
The test was accompanied by a questionnaire including questions about the details of musical
education, familial aggregation of AP and the features of musical hearing. In the second part
tests with tones of various timbre were applied to 31 students who had identified more than
50% pitch values in the first test. In the present paper discussed are individual cases of various
forms of AP.
Keywords: absolute pitch, various kinds of AP, effects of speed, effect of timbre.
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