Perfect Pitch


“music” by Robert Couse-Baker is licensed under CC BY 2.0

By: Valerie Lai, Reporter

Perfect pitch only occurs in 1 out of 10,000 people. So, what is it, and why is it so rare?

Perfect pitch is the ability to sing or name a note without a reference. However, this skill only comes to use if you learn music. If someone with perfect pitch has not learned about notes or has no interaction with music, they will not know that they have perfect pitch.

How people develop perfect pitch is a debated topic. Some say that all people with perfect pitch are born with it, and those who develop it later in life have what’s called relative pitch, which is not as strong as relative pitch.

You may be thinking, ‘perfect pitch is such a cool ability to have!’ However, there are some downsides. For example, if the conductor of an orchestra tells the players to make their notes sharper, members with perfect pitch will have a hard time getting used to the sound. Also, if someone plays out of tune, someone with perfect pitch may get annoyed easily.

Overall, perfect pitch is an awesome skill since you can identify or sing any musical note in tune. If someone plays out of tune though, be prepared to resist telling them that they’re flat or sharp (it can get annoying!).