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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 synesthetic 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]