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2013 | 3 | 59-82

Article title

Słuch absolutny — symptomem zdolności muzycznych i poznawczych?


Title variants

Absolute Pitch — an indication of musical and cognitive abilities?

Languages of publication



The aim of this paper is to present latest studies on absolute pitch conducted over the past ten years. The author respectively discusses: results of the research on the origins of absolute pitch, relationship between absolute pitch and musical skills, dependence of the development of absolute pitch on applied aural training methods, anatomical and neural foundations of this ability, as well as infl uence of absolute pitch on the progress of other cognitive abilities. In conclusion the author submits: the key causes for the development of absolute pitch ability lay in innate predispositions (either genetic or stimulated in the prenatal period) — which manifest themselves in the asymmetry between left and right planum temporale — as well as in skills acquired by early musical practice combined with absolute method of ear training. It appears that using tonal languages is benefi cial for the development of absolute pitch. It has been proven that the ability of absolute pitch correlates with profi ciency in performing musical tasks. Examining brains of people with absolute hearing abilities shows that they have better developed circumferential networks, grey matter, greater thickness of cerebral cortex and improved white matter connectivity, what results in more effi cient networking between various areas of brain, better „small-world” functional networking and memory. Ability of absolute pitch can be understood as a phenomenon of unique perceptual enhancement, useful for the examination of brain plasticity.


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