Composers' Forum

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I saw that Julie Harris mentioned in a blog post that her composition students "mostly have perfect pitch". 

How much advantage does perfect pitch bring to a composer? It's obvious it'll make it easier to quickly jot down a musical idea, or to read one.

But music is based on the relative values of notes, not absolute values. Especially after the scale became "well tempered" we can transpose a piece from one key to another without changing the piece's character. To most people it will sound essentially the same after transposition.

There are days when I have close to perfect pitch, and days when I don't. I prefer when I don't have that awareness of pitch because I find it distracting. I prefer to be focused on the relative value of notes.

But then again I just started composing recently. I would like to know the opinion of more experienced composers if they feel inclined to comment. 

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Great conclusions. Thank you Lara! I always have to find pitches from A 440 just because it is the one pitch I can always count on to be correct, and it is the faster for me to find. Even when I immediately think of a D 350, there is a fraction of a second I reference A. Ranges are not so much an issue for pianists, I would assume, though extremely high or low pitches would likely be difficult for anyone. At the end of the day, all that matters IS that we continue to compose good music. : )

Mike, no prob, and thanks for the input.  Thanks, Lara, for the informative post.

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