What is perfect pitch?

2016.06.30

When we talk about musical ability, we often use the term perfect pitch.

Perfect pitch is [the ability to hear “do ga do”].
It is the ability to recognize the pitch of a sound on its own without comparing it to other notes.

People with perfect pitch are sensitive to sounds so when they hear a note they can quickly determine what type of sound it is. People with perfect pitch hear sounds as words rather than just notes.

However, “perfect pitch” includes people who can only distinguish single tones, those who can distinguish chords and those who can pick-up the detailed frequency of each sound.

What are the advantages of having perfect pitch?

Having perfect pitch is definitely useful when learning music.

If one has a good sense of musical pitch, it is easier for them to stay on tune when singing and playing musical instruments.

It is easier to remember music and harder to forget the tune and lyrics.

People with perfect pitch can repeat a song that they have just heard and are also good at tuning their instrument.

There are also some professions that require having perfect pitch such as a piano tuner and a composer.

Perfect pitch is the ability to comprehend music in a free manner.

What are the disadvantages of having perfect pitch?

People who have perfect pitch are very sensitive to and are often bothered by instruments that are not tuned correctly.

They are often annoyed by inharmonic tones, animal noises, noises from ambulances and water dripping from the faucet.

Also, the more a perfect pitch they have the more they are troubled by hearing sounds as words.
For example, what is supposed to me dignified classical music ends up sounding like a group of words and sounds.

Some people are unable to enjoy music for what it is as a result of having perfect pitch.

Is it a good idea to expose our children to perfect pitch?

Perfect pitch is often gained during early musical education.

The opportunity to gain perfect pitch is limited to the time period before one becomes 7 years old and their hearing development is finalized.

However, there are examples of people who have gained perfect pitch as adults so some exceptions exist.

Many parents are [insistent that their child have perfect pitch].

However, it is important to be aware that having perfect pitch can also be a disadvantage.

There is no research to show that people cannot enjoy music if they do not have perfect pitch.

It is important to expose children to music in a fun way so they can experience its benefits in full.

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