It’s what all classical musicians dream of – being able to identify a note accurately just by hearing it, but perfect pitch may not be as absolute as we previously thought if the results of a new study from the University of Chicago are to be believed.
Only around one in 10,000 people are said to have perfect pitch but, after playing a recording of Brahms’ Symphony No 1 and gradually lowering the pitch by a third of a semitone over a 15-minute movement, no changes were noticed and the participants still identified the new notes as being in tune.
“This is further evidence of how adaptable even the adult mind is for learning new skills,” professor Howard Nusbaum said, explaining that people with perfect pitch are more likely to identify notes from their sound, rather than possessing such a rare ability from a young age. “We are finding out more and more about how our brains are equipped to learn new things at any age and not limited by abilities previously thought to be available only from the time of birth.”
Do you think you have perfect pitch? Has it helped you as a musician?