Absolute pitch identification (a little fun experiment)


Well-known member
May 4, 2020
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Here's a little experiment; maybe you'll find it interesting too.

I think we all know the middle C note. The C on the uke string #3. The C that we've all heard millions of times in all kinds of songs.

But can you say if a note is middle C if you hear it?

For example, is the note below the middle C?

What if I put the middle C into a scale? Are you able to identify it?

The thing I remember is that relative pitches are easy to identify, e.g. if I play the middle C note to you and then play another note, most can easily tell whether that other note is middle C. This works even after a few minutes pass between the 2 notes.

However, just now, in this experiment, you've jumped in without listening to middle C recently. I'm wondering if you found it easy to identify the middle C.

It is funny, but different people can remember the middle C pitch (if asked to remember) for different lengths of time. However, it's nothing like recognizing an old friend from years and years ago.

This also explains why we can tune our uke strings relatively to each other and not know the difference when we playing it solo; singing along is not solo playing of course.

Anyway, just something I hope you'd find interesting. Oh, this past week is incredible. It was Chinese New Year, Valentine's Day, and Presidents Day all wrapped into one for the US folks.
To find the answer, just use your uke and pluck the C string (tuned of course). Since the notes are all at least a semi-tone apart, the note to be easily identifiable.
Several years ago, in a bible study group, it was decided to close with a hymn.
One individual felt it necessary to be pitch perfect, and moved to the piano to play a ‘C’.

I hummed ‘C’, before they got to the piano, and everyone was amazed I was right on.

I basked in the glory, never telling everyone that after nine years of band
Nine months out of the year
Five times a week
Band class
It is like an ear worm.

Just don’t ask me to identify other notes.
I have read that perfect pitch can be learned. I have no evidence to back the claim up.

My senior year, we had a kid in our HS choir who had perfect pitch. The music director would use him instead of a pitch pipe.

Worked great until he got really nervous at the state choral competitions. First time out of the three years we competed that we lost. :(

Stuff happens.
Prolific YouTuber Rick Beato told me recently that people with perfect pitch have trouble with relative pitch. He has quite a few theory videos that I re-watch often.
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