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What musician, especially professional, would prefer not to have perfect pitch over having it?

We all instinctively know the powerful advantage of having this aural skill. I used to downplay its significance with the mantra: "It's not very useful," but honestly this was only because I didn’t have perfect pitch at the time—I was a “sour grape." 

My wife, who is not a musician, was astonished to learn, when I first began developing perfect pitch, that I couldn't already name or sing any tone without a reference. She just assumed, especially since I was a professional pianist and teacher, that I (and all other musicians) could! This got me thinking... We are musicians. Ours is an aural art. Sound is our specialty. And we can't name our tones? Do artists not know their colors?

Nor is it meaningless that 80% of the top 1% of performing musicians have perfect pitch. Since developing perfect pitch, I've discovered that
there is no facet of music and musicianship that escapes being affected. Perfect pitch has transformed my entire music ethos. I now consider absolute pitch to be one of the most important skills I possess, and I use it all the time.  Indeed, I can no longer fathom being a musician without it!

So I really don’t have to tell you the benefits of perfect pitch.  Nevertheless, here are a few I've come up with:



      A better listener (not just a bystander)

      A better student (in lessons & music theory)

      A better teacher (know what your students play)

      A better performer (focus on musical expression)

      A better composer (write without an instrument)

      A better transposer (play in any key)

      A better improviser (play what you hear)

      A better sightreader (hear what you see)

      A better sightsinger (sing what you see)

      A better memorizer (play with confidence)

      A better musician (who knows your tones!)