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Absolute pitch, also known as perfect pitch, is the ability to identify or recreate a musical note without a reference tone. Absolute pitch is very rare, but its exact prevalence is unknown. However, there is evidence that it is much more common in Autistic individuals. A higher prevalence has also been recorded with synaesthetic individuals.

History and notable people[]

Due to uncertainty in historical records, it is very difficult to know which musicians prior to the 19th century had absolute pitch.[1] However, there is solid evidence that Mozart (who lived during the latter half of the 18th century) had it. It has also been suggested that Beethoven likely had it as well.[2] From the 19th century onward, it has become more common for people to record which musicians had absolute pitch, such as Camille Saint-Saëns and John Phillip Sousa. Ludwig Wittgenstein also had perfect pitch.[3] Some examples of modern musicians with absolute pitch include Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Jimi Hendrix, and Ella Fitzgerald.[4]

Correlation with Autism[]

There is evidence that Autistic people are more likely to have absolute pitch.[5]

According to a study, people with absolute pitch have more Autistic traits than those who don't.[6]