Over at Ultimate-Guitar.com, a neuroscience student is inviting people to try an informal experiment with him, to test a method of developing absolute pitch.
It’s an interesting approach. He’s using a recording of a pure tone of middle C (261.6Hz for you Frequency Fundamentals students!) to ‘meditate’ on.
Several of the follow-up posts pick up on the fact that full absolute pitch actually allows one to recognise (and reproduce) any note, rather than just a particular reference note. But I tend to agree with the original poster: there’s great value in having a reliable reference tone, and having a reference tone and good relative pitch is even better! You have to walk before you can run, and training the ear to hear the absolute pitch of a particular note has to be step one… of eleven!
There are a lot of theories about how to develop absolute pitch, and even still some controversy about whether it can be learned at all. It’s a topic I’m going to be writing a lot more about, but I think most people would agree that there isn’t currently a widely acknowledged, effective way for adults to learn absolute pitch. I am confident we’re going to see that change within our lifetime, through the incredible power and accessibility of technology.
More ideas, more experiments and more discussion are going to lead the way, so it’s great to see people like flashbandit over at Ultimate Guitar starting the discussion:
Have some thoughts you want to share on absolute pitch? Experiences with courses or products you think others should know about? Come tell us in our Absolute Pitch Forum!
Next in series: 21st Century Ear Training
Learn more about how to develop a reference pitch for yourself in this article.