The exact pitch value of a musical note (for example, middle C) as opposed to its position relative to other pitches.
The ability to identify any musical note or to produce orally any named note is quite rare.
- Can only be tested in musically trained subjects.
- Present in only about 1% of the population, but higher in Japan.
- Frequency of occurrence of absolute pitch highly negatively correlated with age of onset of musical training.
- Attempts to develop this ability in adults by intensive training have had only very limited success.
- "Perfect pitch" is a misnomer since perfect pitch is not error free, nor do those who have it always view it as desirable.
See also: Pitch.