The early learning model of absolute pitch has recently been challenged (W. A. Brown, H. Sachs, K. Cammuso, & S. E. Folstein, 2002). This article gives a brief review of the cumulative evidence in favor of the model: Prevalence of absolute pitch is increased (a) in the congenitally and early blind, (b) among musicians in Japan, a country with a special tradition of early music training, and (c) in different types of genetically based cognitive deficit syndromes; (d) latent forms of absolute pitch are widespread, (e) there are remarkable parallels to first language acquisition, and (f) strong correlations are consistently found between early music training and the manifestation of AP in adolescence. Apart from atypical cases, early tonal training during a sensitive period and up to a ““hard”” age limit seems of absolute pitch. The question of sufficiency of adequate early training methods (i.e., acquisition without hypothetical distinctive genetic priming factors) is not yet sufficiently settled.
- Received April 5, 2003.
- Accepted July 7, 2003.
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