Re: pitch shift with age ("Daniel J. Levitin" )

Subject: Re: pitch shift with age
From:    "Daniel J. Levitin"  <levitin(at)CCRMA.STANFORD.EDU>
Date:    Mon, 21 Sep 1998 11:04:28 -0700

>Dear auditory list, > >Can anyone give me a reference to a perceptual study of pitch shift with >age? Am I correct that the general finding is that there is an upward >shift in the perception of pitch in older individuals, and is the >mechanism known? > >Thanks, >Ani Patel >-- Ani, It is well documented that possessors of Absolute Pitch experience pitch shifts with age, usually with the age of onset around 50. I'm not sure what it means to talk about a shift in pitch perception in someone who doesn't have AP. For references, see Triepel, 1934 (cited in Ward & Burns, 1982); Vernon, 1977; Corliss, 1973; Abraham, 1901. Also, a group in Washington showed that pitch shift can be induced in AP possessors through administration of a psychoactive drug (Chaloupka et al, 1994). Some authors have suggested the pitch shift could be do to shrinkage of the cochlea. Some of this literature is keyworded by the term "paracusis." References. Abraham, O. (1901). Das absolute Tonbewusstein. Sammelbde. International Musikges, 3, 1-86. Chaloupka, V.; Mitchell, S.; Muirhead, R. (1994). Observation of a reversible, medication-indued change in pitch perception. JASA, 96(1), 145-149. Corliss, E. L. (1973). Remark on "fixed scale mechanism of absolute pitch." JASA, 53, 1737-1739. Vernon, P. E. (1977). Absolute pitch: A case study. British Journal of Psychology, 68, 485-489. Ward, W. D., and Burns, E. M. (1982). Absolute Pitch. In D. Deutsch (Ed.) Psychology of Music. San Diego: Academic Press, 431-451. ============================================== Daniel J. Levitin, M.Sc., Ph.D. Phone: (650) 723-4971 CCRMA/Dept. of Music FAX: (650) 723-8468 Stanford University email: levitin(at) Stanford, CA 94305 Visiting Scholar, Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics Home Page: ================================================ McGill is running a new version of LISTSERV (1.8d on Windows NT). Information is available on the WEB at

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