The Sense of Pitch

Kim Komando had a link on her Cool Sites of the Day today that was pretty fun. It was a quiz about how some people on American Idol think they can sing, but really can’t. I don’t have perfect pitch, but I think I have relative pitch because after a while, I can start a song from memory without hearing an intro or a given tone. Unless I have a cold or sinus infection, I’m usually right 95% of the time. That’s why I was so freaked out when my left ear completely closed up in June! Anyway, here is the link for a test to see if you have a tin ear or not. There are 26 little snippets of tunes. Some stay right on the money, but others drop or raise a tone right in the middle. I actually don’t think it’s accurate though because people who get off pitch enough to drive me bananas only are off a fraction of a tone (in music it’s called cents). They wobble somewhere under or above the tune, but not a full half step away, such as these examples played on a keyboard.

This would be pretty interesting to give to my students, but it says: “You must be 16 or older to take this test. Tone recognition is not fully developed at younger ages, and test results may not be meaningful.” I don’t know. I have a bunch of kids with great ears, and then some who cannot repeat a pitch no matter how hard they try. We do crazy fire engine siren sounds, and some of them can’t make their siren move up or down at all. They don’t hear it. On the quiz I got them all right, but they are pretty easy. Give it a try!

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