Could adults learn perfect pitch?

Tom Reading, Science 5 Comments

The idea seems to be to reactivate some early-life learning mechanisms (most people only learn perfect pitch early in their lives) through valproate. Then do exercises to learn to successfully identify pitch.

To my untrained eye, it seems a reasonable study with placebo control and there are some interesting comments on the abstract.

A new resolution for 2014?

The pill that might give you perfect pitch by altering your brain | The Verge.

Comments 5

  1. Caroline Raggett
  2. Moray McConnachie
    Moray McConnachie

    Hmmm. I had thought it WAS possible to learn absolute pitch as an adult the old-fashioned way, through practice. Does his assertion mean that those people I know with absolute pitch all learnt it before age 7?

  3. Ali Sheppard
    Ali Sheppard

    I’ve always believed that you can acquire perfect pitch by practice, even without chemistry! Interesting study, although I wonder how big the groups were.

  4. Tom Raggett
  5. Ali Sheppard
    Ali Sheppard

    I’ve also seen a previous paper putting forward the theory that exposing a foetus to classical music that is played by the mother or people close to the foetus (as opposed to hearing it on the radio etc.) increases the likelihood that the baby will grow up to have perfect pitch. Everyone I know who has pitch had a parent who played a musical instrument so there may be something in it!

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