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Subject: Re: Serious Question
From: Dennis Ryan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Mon, 24 Apr 2017 19:45:56 -0400
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Hi, Y'all!  
    At LAST, a possible explanation for what happened  to me.  
    I have sufficient evidence that perfect pitch can  be learned to make 
me almost convinced of it, but insufficient evidence to  make me totally 
convinced of it.  And it is all from my own  experience.   
I was first chair clarinetist for four years in my  high school band.  
Perforce, it became my responsibility to tune each  member of the band privately 
before each class began, going around to each  member individually as we 
were warming up.  Our teacher made it clear  that she would do NOTHING to 
further tune any player after I had  ostensibly done the job, and if someone in 
the band was out of tune, IT WAS  MY FAULT.  "The concertmaster is the 
concertmaster," she insisted, "and  that is NOT my job."  (Actually, she was a 
superb teacher, who had  great faith that I could learn to do this if she just 
"put it to me" and  gritted her teeth for a few weeks.)   Well, after about 
six weeks, I  had learned to tune the band almost perfectly.  OK, so maybe 
I  had "relative pitch" that had fallen into decay through lack of use, and  
I "recovered" it through practice.  But by the end of my first year, I  had 
actually learned to do it without anyone ever giving me any pitch cue AT  
ALL.  Now people who have absolute pitch because "they are born with it"  SAY 
they never need to "learn" how to activate it.  And I always  thought that 
I WASN'T born with it, and never acquired it for about four of  the scale's 
twelve tones.  I never had "absolute pitch" for these  few notes of the 
scale just "out of the blue," but I always did for a  concert B flat, and then I 
could always find any other notes accurately  from there. 
    I have never claimed to actually HAVE "perfect  pitch," because 
anything I ever achieved fell clearly short of what the  people who actually DO 
have it describe.  
    No one has ever told me before about the  "activation in early years" 
part.   Perhaps that explains what  happened to me:  because it wasn't 
activated in early years, I never fully  recovered what I was born with.  
"Amoravcs," my question now is:   how early is "early"?    
    Best, 
    Dennis Ryan 
 
 

 
In a message dated 4/24/2017 2:26:12 P.M. Central Daylight Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:
 
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."   


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