Tag Archives: absolute pitch

The Neurosciences and Music IV: Learning and Memory

Today I received formal acknowledgement of enrolment in a conference entitled: The Neurosciences and Music IV: Learning and Memory,

Organised by the Fondazione Mariani in conjunction with Edinburgh University’s Institute for Music in Human and Social Development, the conference will take place in Edinburgh from 9 – 12 June. As part of what I see as payback for the investment in my attendance there, I intend to post write-ups of relevant content, for the benefit of pupils, colleagues and other interested parties.

Some of the highlights of the conference include:

Impact of musical experience on cerebral language processing – Mathias Oechslin (Chair), Geneva, Switzerland

Why would musical training benefit language functions? A neurobiological perspective? – Aniruddh Patel, San Diego, USA

Memory and learning in music performance – Caroline Palmer and Peter Pfordresher (Chairs)

Keynote lecture – Human memory – Alan Baddeley, York, UK

The functional architecture of Working Memory for tones and phonemes in non-musicians and musicians with and without absolute pitch – Stefan Koelsch, Berlin, Germany

Learning and memory in musical disorders – Psyche Loui and Isabelle Peretz (Chairs)

Perfect Pitch

Those most blessed with perfect pitch are, according to this New Scientist article, speakers of tonal languages. Next come those who begin learning a pitched instrument at a very young age – between 3 and 6. However, many musicians tend to exist on – or even move around – a continuum of absolute and relative pitch, depending on circumstances. Factors could include hearing music being played on their own instrument; hearing real notes as opposed to pure sine waves; being able to identify a chord more easily that an isolated note. If it is a skill which we can work at, then what better place to start than here?