Perfect Pitch

A few weeks ago my wife and i went to some friends’ house for dinner, and i brought my guitar.  Our friends have a few kids, and the oldest one is quite the piano player.  They have wanting to hear me play of my celtic guitar music, so i played a few of the things i have been working on.  Halfway into one of my arrangements their oldest son mentions to his dad that the piece is in G. I am thinking how does he know that, i had not said anything about the key or my tuning.  I asked him if he had perfect pitch and he said yea.  I was pretty astounded, what an amazing ability, especially for someone less than 10 years old.  I tested him a bit, playing notes all over my guitar, as well as mulitple notes at once.  He didnt miss a single time. 

How cool.  When i took some music theory classes in college and toyed with the idea of studying composition i thought it would be so neat to have pefect pitch.  Imagine being able to hear a passage in your head and just being able to notate it on paper.  I think that is the eventual goal, to be able to go straight from your minds ear to the instrument, as fluidly as possible.  I dont think perfect pitch guarantees musical genius ability, or mastary of an instrument, but i bet it makes alot of things more accessible. 

Some claim you can work to develop perfect pitch.  i am not sure what to think of that, it would seem to me that you either have it or you dont.  Relative pitch, which is being to hear the intervals between two notes, can be developed through practice.  I think that would be a good skill, as long as one could get a starting reference note you could notate simple melodies without an instrument, and probably eventually progress to more complex things.  Perhaps its something i will have time to work on in the future.



Leave a Reply