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Subject: Re: Serious Question
From: Andrew Moravcsik <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Andrew Moravcsik <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 24 Apr 2017 19:26:10 +0000
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Actually the truth is more complex.  
 
On perfect pitch, the research is pretty clear. Perfect pitch is inherited by nature, but it also must be nurtured. If you do not "activate" it in early years, it never developed. So it's a bit misleading to say "You are either born with it or not."   
 
As for a trill, I do not know any research on this. Again, at the very least, it would seem more likely that IF the underlying ability is inherited, you still require training. But is the premise correct? I do not know of any research or evidence suggesting that the ability to trill is an inherited quality. That doesn't mean it is not: maybe no one has studied it. But I would pose the question to Donald: What is the evidence that the ability to trill is nature, not nurture? 
 
Andy Moravcsik 
Princeton, NJ 
 
-----Original Message----- 
From: Discussion of opera and related issues [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Donald Levine 
Sent: Monday, April 24, 2017 15:13 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Re: Serious Question 
 
Perfect pitch, like a perfect trill or as Zinka Milanov remarked, a pianissimo, isn't something easily acquired.  You are either born with it or not.  You can be taught to get close to a trill or sing softly, but true trills and true pianissimo's are born - they are not made.  Same with relative pitch vs perfect pitch.  Perfect pitch is something you are born with.  My mother, much to my chagrin when I sang for her, had perfect pitch.  I had good relative pitch which is more the norm, I think. 
 
Donald 
 
On Mon, Apr 24, 2017 at 4:36 AM, 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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