Is Perfect Pitch Actually Perfect

Is Perfect Pitch Actually Perfect

Have you ever met someone who is able to identify a note being played without having any context to the music? Absolute pitch, commonly known as perfect pitch, is often found amongst musicians. I personally like to refer to “perfect pitch” as absolute pitch, because, like we’ve all heard throughout our lives, nothing is perfect! The Cambridge Dictionary defines absolute as “. . . the same in all situations and not depending on anything else.” There are actually three different versions of this skill: absolute pitch, relative pitch, and quasi absolute pitch.

So, what is AP (absolute pitch) and how does it compare to relative pitch? AP means that someone can label a pitch without a reference note. Relative pitch refers to labeling a pitch in relation to a previously given note. Many adults that claim to have AP say they began learning an instrument around the ages 4-7, which is the prime time for brain plasticity. At this young age, students learn keys with little to no sharps or flats. This common experience is why many people tend to have AP when it comes to natural notes but struggle identifying pitches that are sharp or flat. Making sure that a student’s instrument is tuned can also affect a musician’s AP later on!

The last version of AP is called quasi absolute pitch. When I was 15, I really enjoyed “Bird Song” by Florence + the Machine. The first pitch of the song, Florence sings a C4 (middle C). I was able to memorize that pitch in context of a song. Now, I use C4 as a reference pitch to identify/sing other pitches! This is an example of QAP (quasi absolute pitch). Another interesting factor of QAP is being sensitive to different timbres (instruments) or certain pitch octaves.

Everyone’s experience is very personalized and no matter how many studies we do, we will never truly understand all there is to AP. However, just like any skill, absolute pitch is a craft that can be honed.

Sean Corbett, B.M.E., Voice Instructor

Jesusa Pons-Garner

I’ve had both my children attend lessons at this location. The staff is absolutely wonderful. Mrs. Amber is an incredible piano instructor!

Jesusa Pons-Garner / parent
Jennifer Ortega

San Antonio Music Academy is very well organized. My daughter's piano teacher is wonderful! She's been taking lessons for 5 months and looks forward to each lesson. I really enjoy the recitals at the LOL Comedy Club.

Jennifer Ortega / parent
Esmeralda Saavedra

My daughter has been registered here since she was 7. Each instructor she’s had has been very friendly and great to work with. Currently she has lessons with Ms Maria and we are so grateful for her and the entire SAMA staff. I can’t recommend enough.

Esmeralda Saavedra / parent
Elio Maldonado Jr.

Jacob was an excellent guitar instructor. He was patient and prepared. I definitely recommend him to any person wanting to learn guitar.

Elio Maldonado Jr. / parent
Crystal Reyes

We absolutely  San Antonio Music Academy!!! All 3 of my children take lessons and they love it. My daughter Taylor has really improved her vocal abilities with the help of a wonderful vocal teacher.

Crystal Reyes / parent
Steve Dell

San Antonio Music Academy is awesome, my son loves the guitar lessons and is super excited to attend every week! He started with zero experience and progressed surprisingly fast. Randy is an amazingly talented guitarist/teacher. He is very patient, yet knows how to push students to the next level. Highly recommend all the instructors, the staff is great!

Steve Dell / parent
Call Now Button