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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000491.txt from 2002/05

From: "James E. Jackson" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Perfect Pitch
Date: Sun, 19 May 2002 10:06:19 -0400

When you're a folk musician, I think you are stuck with having to be
good at adjusting your ears to different pitches. Anybody who has tried
to play with Northumbrian Small Pipes will know what I mean. They're
pitched somewhere between F and F#, probably closer to F though.
Thankfully, you can buy concert pitched sets too though.

-----Original Message-----
Subject: [kl] Perfect Pitch

There are several kinds of perfect pitch. I don't have even a hint of
but I know people whose ears are "stuck" on A-440 and have a hard time
transposing instruments or even a group tuned to A-442. My wife and I
two reproductions of a Bressan recorder pitched at A-405, 3/4 of a step
modern pitch. We tried to play them with a couple of people with this
of perfect pitch, and they couldn't bear it.

On the other hand, the baroque/classical oboist Michel Piguet has
acute perfect pitch, but he switches easily from 440 to 427 (which is
more or
less the standard for "classical instrument" Mozart) to 415 (1/2 step
440 and the standard for "baroque instrument" work) to 410, 405 and 392
("French pitch," a whole step down from 440). He also switches among
temperaments. He told me it takes him a few minutes to get used to the
bearing, and then he doesn't notice it.

Singers, even those without perfect pitch, can go fairly easily from 440
415, which is exactly 1/2 step, but every one of them I've talked to who
tried to sing Mozart at 427 has had terrible trouble, because they're
familiar with the feeling of singing on particular pitches, but singing
the cracks" is unfamiliar.

Best regards.

Ken Shaw

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