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What is Perfect Pitch?


I was just chatting with a group of friends the other day and the topic of Perfect pitch came about.

I am fortunate to be born as a perfect pitch pianist, I am able to hear once and play back with my piano keys almost immediately. So what is Perfect Pitch ?

Perfect Pitch, also known as absolute pitch is the ability to recognize and identify notes being played without being given any reference pitch. A person with perfect pitch is able to sing or hum any given pitch; without any reference note. On the other hand, a person with relative pitch will not be able to do that.

  • You have Perfect Pitch if you are able to:
  • Name a musical note played on any instrument, or any vibrating object; household appliances, door bell etc
  • Identify the key of any given piece of music
  • Sing any note without a given pitch
  • Identify multiple notes played simultaneously
  • Dictate both the rhythm and notes of the given melody
  • Imitate a given passage accurately in the same pitch and rhythm

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Perfect Pitch:

The benefits of possessing perfect pitch is that you learn a piece of music faster with less effort as you can remember the melody. You can judge whether a piece of music is being played in the correct key, and identify specific instruments which are playing in tune or out of tune.

The disadvantage are that those with perfect pitch cannot enjoy the music if the piece is not played in their original keys as they already have in their mind what the original piece sounds like, and that throws them off.

A person with perfect pitch also finds it hard to play on an out of tune piano as what they hear in their mind sounds different as what they are producing on the keys.

  • Here are some Famous People with Perfect Pitch:
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composer
  • Ludwig van Beethoven, composer
  • Nat King Cole, singer
  • Stevie Wonder, singer
  • Yo-Yo Ma, cellist
  • Min Min Tay, Me Myself, Pianist :)