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Software Voice Analysis

Let the computer analyze your precision listening skills and improve your pitch retention.

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The Pitch Ability Test gives you a measure for aural skills.

Why a Pitch Ability Test? How do I define Pitch Ability?

As a musician that studies at a musical conservatory, you have heard the terms Absolute Pitch and Perfect Pitch. Looking at Wikipedia you find the following description:

Generally, absolute pitch implies some or all of the following abilities, achieved without a reference tone:[6]

  • Identify by name individual pitches (e.g. A, B, C♯) played on various instruments.
  • Name the key of a given piece of tonal music.
  • Reproduce a piece of tonal music in the correct key days after hearing it.
  • Identify and name all the tones of a given chord or other tonal mass.
  • Accurately sing a named pitch.
  • Name the pitches of common everyday sounds such as car horns and alarms.

These definitions of Absolute Pitch look to many students as the top of the achievements possible. But at the musical conservatory not much weight is given to Absolute Pitch, since for music understanding there is no need for absolute pitch frequencies. Indeed the absolute pitch frequencies changed over the centuries.

Because Absolute Pitch doesn't give a lot of merits to your musical understanding, the effort to gain it, is in no relation to the merits. Therefore universities don't even offer courses for it. This adds to the myth that Absolute Pitch is not teachable. And to make the myth even more true, all kinds of features were attributed to Absolute Pitch over time. For example "Reproduce a piece of tonal music in the correct key days after hearing it".

Now, this isn't a scientific description. First, it doesn't specify how long the piece you have to reproduce is. Second, no test will be made that puts you in a soundproof box for a day, to ensure that you cannot hear a reference sound. Of course every day you hear bells and other pitched sounds. Nevertheless, we know that this claim would hold true, without even testing it. However, it is not scientific. You often also hear the term "instantly recognize" in conjunction with Absolute Pitch. However, no scientific description for "instantly" is given: How long are you are allowed to listen to the pitch, and how much time are you granted to formulate the answer.

With the advent of powerful computers, the time has come to make a more useful and scientificallymeasurable definition of "Absolute Pitch". No, I don't change the definition of Absolute Pitch. Looking at the essence of Absolute Pitch, it seems to be the ability to remember and produce pitches. The other points can be derived from theory (key) and training (speed).

Introducing the Pitch Ability.

Introducing a new scientific measure makes sense to overcome the myth of Absolute Pitch. At the same time, you get a scientific handle to achieve set goals.

First, let me show, why a new term is useful. If we introduce a new term Super-Runners, we can define a scientific description for the term Super-Runners. We can define Super-Runners as people that use less than 10 seconds for running 100 meters. We can scientifically define the environmental conditions for this 100 meters (e. g. horizontal, no wind, surface, etc.). Yet, only a few people are capable to accomplish this. But unlike to Absolute Pitch, we cannot only say, your are not a Super-Runner, we can also give you the time you used for these 100 meters. In this way, let me introduce the term Pitch Ability.

Second, let me define Pitch Ability. Taking out the essence of Absolute Pitch, remembering and producing pitch, let me define a direct measure for the Pitch Ability. The time. The time of silence, between the production of a sound (singing or humming) and the hearing of the sound.

For the environmental conditions I define the following:

  1. The pitch of the sound you have to reproduce is any pitched sound that you can freely choose.
  2. The sound will be played for two seconds.
  3. After that, you get two seconds to hum or sing the pitch back. No feedback will be given.
  4. A previously chosen time of silence has to pass after the reference sound and the test time.
  5. Five seconds before the test is due, you are allowed to break the silence, to get your voice in shape.
  6. During the test time of one second, you must sing or hum the pitch back within a mean precision of 25 cents. Your pitch is never allowed to be more than 50 cents off of the target frequency. No realtime feedback is given during the test.
  7. You must pass this test four four different freely choosable pitches.

 

If you pass the test for the chosen duration, you can choose a longer duration and repeat the test. Your Pitch Ability is the longest duration for which you fullfil the above criteria. This procedure is similar to high jump sports, where you set your targeted goal.

Since the time is unlimited I have defined a reference point: Felix's Pitch Point. Felix's Pitch Point is at 4 minutes. Four minutes, because the test for four notes takes less than 20 minutes. And usually, if you can correctly remember pitches - without cheating - after 4 minutes, you can also remember them after an hour.

I think that this Pitch Ability Test says a lot more about your pitch ability than: you don't have absolute pitch. In addition, you can train this abilility and therefore improve the ability.

For the training we have developed the program Same-Pitch-Please. This program helps you to find the pitches of the notes you can remember and reproduce best. Since our brain will also use relative pitch concepts to solve problems, the training program focuses for a while on the note you can remember and reproduce best. If you buy the program you can freely select all lessons, otherwise you cannot skip lessons.

The Pitch-Ability-Test (PAT) will be available soon for free. In the meantime, we recommend that you try the program Same Pitch Please.

 

Download (Mac/Windows)The test is free.

The software consists of

Introduction to the Pitch Ability Test
Pitch Ability Test

Pitch Ability Test Introductory Video

With the Pitch Ability Test you can measure how long you can keep a pitch in your mind. Essentially the test measures how good you can transition from aural to mental pitch control. It also gives an overview on how the test works.

"The Pitch Ability Test" and "Felix's Pitch Point".

For More Information

Check our other programs:.

Want to learn to sing with feedback on pitch and rhythm? Visit www.listening-singing-teacher.com

Want to learn intervals and triads? Visit www.listening-music-teacher.com

Want to do some ear training? Visit www.listening-ear-trainer.com

Want to improve your tuning skills? Visit www.tunecrack.com

Trademarks

Listening Singing Teacher, Listening Music Teacher, Listening Ear Trainer, The Red Pitch Dot, The Colored Pitch Line, The Counting Hints Line, The Half-Step Brackets, The Precision Listening Method, The Singing Funnel Method, The Octave Anchor Pitches Method,The Interval Overtone Method, The Pitch Keeper Method, Absolute Pitch Point, Same Pitch Please, Pitch Ability Method and Pitch Ability Test are trademarks of AlgorithmsAndDataStructures, F. Rudin. Macintosh and OS X are trademarks of Apple Computer Inc., IBM PC is trademark of International Business Machines Inc., Windows XP/Vista/7/10 is trademark of Microsoft Inc. All other company and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners