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Subject: Re: Serious Question
From: Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 24 Apr 2017 07:58:45 -0400
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I certainly do not have perfect pitch, and pitches have varied over the
years. A440 - A445 etc, so perfect putch is, in a sense, a misnomer.
But for our purposes, no, I cannot identify a C from a B natural, for
instance. Some people can.

But I can hear singing (for example) that is not centered on a given tone,
but is above (sharp) or below (flat) the place where it should have landed.
Many people cannot, and some of them will argue that their hearing is
as good as those who claim bad intonation. Ed Rosen once argued with
me that Renata Tebaldi was not an out of tune singer, that he had heard
her live often and had never heard a flat tone. He later moderated it to
"hardly" ever.  He may have been right that he didn't hear it,but it was
there. It is hard to prove, and I've stopped arguing about it. You either
hear it or you don't. Even a pitch pipe will not convince those who don't.

But when I'm told that Leonie, Crespin, Tebaldi,  MacNeil and Tozzi were
not out of tune singers, I know that I'm talking with someone who simply
does not hear intonation. Oh, you can add Netrebko to the list.

Bob


On Monday, April 24, 2017, Idia Legray <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> To follow up from my last post; obviously anyone with half an ear can hear
> when the orchestra is playing one note and the singer is singing something
> else.  I am only talking about the subtle "almost-on-the-note" which lacks
> the precision to be determined as on-pitch.
>
> An interesting anecdote which might bring a smile and a nod to musicians:
> When driving on a highway we sometimes come to certain parts that make
> the same sound every 2 seconds or so.  I ask my mate "what is that
> particular note?" and of course he is immediately able to identify it. I
> get
> the greatest kick out of that. Driving to New York there are often many
> A-flats.
>
> I don't think perfect pitch is something that one can acquire by practice
> (kind of like a trill, although Marilyn Horne successfully debunked that
> theory).  You're either born with it or you're not.
>
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