absolute pitch

absolute pitch, the position of a tone in the musical scale determined according to its number of vibrations per second, irrespective of other tones. The term also denotes the capacity to identify any tone upon hearing it sounded alone or to sing any specified tone. Experiments have shown that this ability, a form of memory, can be acquired through practice, but in some individuals it appears to be inborn.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on absolute pitch from Fact Monster:

  • staff - staff staff, in musical notation, a set of horizontal lines upon and between which notes are ...
  • pitch, in music - pitch pitch, in music, the position of a tone in the musical scale, today designated by a letter ...
  • Native American music - Native American music. Native American music. The music of Native North Americans is primarily a ...
  • serial music - serial music serial music, the body of compositions whose fundamental syntactical reference is a ...
  • Chinese music: Tone and the Instruments - Tone and the Instruments In Chinese music, the single tone is of greater significance than melody; ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Music: Theory, Forms, and Instruments