[Smt-talk] Perfect pitch and aging

A.Ockelford at roehampton.ac.uk A.Ockelford at roehampton.ac.uk
Tue Feb 7 13:22:26 PST 2012

That's interesting, David ... yes, it happened to me.

I have perfect 'piano' pitch and for various other instruments, though its not universal. The Moonlight Sonata sounded very strange in D minor at first - but I've kind of got used to it! I find I can 'turn it off' when sight reading - but improvising with others is a real pain - as I've never sure whether I'm hearing what they're doing at correct pitch or a semitone out!



Adam Ockelford PhD ARAM
Professor of Music
Director, Applied Music Research Centre
Room 135, Queens Building
Southlands College
University of Roehampton
Roehampton Lane
London SW15 5SL

+44 (0)7818-456 472

a.ockelford at roehampton.ac.uk
From: smt-talk-bounces at lists.societymusictheory.org [smt-talk-bounces at lists.societymusictheory.org] On Behalf Of Huron, David [huron.1 at osu.edu]
Sent: 07 February 2012 18:17
To: SMT Talk
Subject: [Smt-talk] Perfect pitch and aging

It's well-known that people with perfect pitch experience an
upward pitch-shift with age.  Typically, by around 55 years of age
a C sounds like a C#, and by 65 a C tends to sound like a D.

I wonder if this is a universal experience or whether there are
people with perfect pitch -- older than 60 -- who have NOT experienced
an upward pitch shift.

I'd appreciate people writing to me to convey their experiences regarding
age and AP.  I'll post a summary if I receive enough responses.

David Huron
huron.1 at osu.edu

David Huron
Arts and Humanities Distinguished Professor
School of Music & Center for Cognitive Science
Ohio State University

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