>This seems like a good opening to ask a question that has been niggling
>around in my head for some time. How good is the pitch resolution of people
>with "absolute" pitch? Is it possible for some people to tune without
>listening to beats?
It is absolutely possible, although there's probably a bell-curve for
absolute pitch just as there is for any other human attribute, and I
suspect that absolute pitch is not just one thing but a mixture of
different things (none of which I seem to have!!).
For 2 years I worked with a student who played harpsichord and organetto in
our Early Music Ensemble. She could spend about 5 minutes with the
organetto and presto, it was in tune! And she tuned individual notes, NOT
intervals. I suspect that, as a pianist, her absolute pitch has been
referenced to A=440 and to ET, as would be expected. But in practice she
simply knows when it's right.
John & Susie Howell (mailto:[log in to unmask])
Virginia Tech Department of Music
Blacksburg, Virginia, U.S.A. 24061-0240
Vox (540) 231-8411 Fax (540) 231-5034