Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Did Freddie have perfect pitch?

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Gregsynth user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 21 May 10, 17:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I know the guy wasn't perfect live (he was great though), but the fact that he could "play what he had heard on the radio" sparks a question: Did Freddie possess perfect pitch?


I always knew I was a star And now, the rest of the world seems to agree with me-Freddie Mercury
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Posted: 22 May 10, 03:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"Perfect" is a bit relative to everyone's ear. If you enjoy listening to crappy crowd recordings and judging from that I think I may have found your problem. If you have listened to the retail release of the '81 Montreal concert, either the CD version, or preferably the 5.1 Blu-Ray edition, that's what I like to call a perfect live performance (in terms of Freddie's vocal performance, as some people seem to want to understand something else).

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Posted: 22 May 10, 05:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

You don't need perfect pitch to play what you hear on the radio. Fred, AFAIK, only had relative pitch. A very well-trained one, though, enough to complement his genius.


John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 22 May 10, 12:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

another dumbfucking question from you and i should be surprised to be not even at that.

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Posted: 22 May 10, 14:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

@Sebastian: Was He well trained?

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Posted: 22 May 10, 23:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

No, too much adrenalin in latter years detracted from the vocal pitch, if properly concentrating then yes

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Posted: 23 May 10, 01:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Ya you don't need perfect pitch to figure out songs on the radio. That just takes intervalic skills


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Gregsynth user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 23 May 10, 02:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

No, you don't "need" perfect pitch to play stuff you hear on the radio, but read THIS:

http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art17748.asp

"Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar, where he lived with his mother, father and younger sister. He attended a boarding school in Bombay where his talent for the piano was first noticed. Friends commented that he could hear anything on the radio, and turn around and play it on the piano."

If Freddie can hear stuff, then just turn around and play it on the piano--that's a sign. He's got some form of Perfect Pitch--maybe not the "obvious" form of it. But he's definitely got more than a "good ear."


I always knew I was a star And now, the rest of the world seems to agree with me-Freddie Mercury
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Posted: 23 May 10, 03:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

In retrospect, friends could've commented loads of things. That's hardly defining evidence.


John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 23 May 10, 04:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I can hear anything on the radio and play it on my guitar... has nothing to do with perfect pitch though.
If you play every day (which Freddie did) you understand what notes are where on an instrument.
Having absolute hearing (hearing what key a song is in without playing it) helps alot.
But that is also due to a lot of playing and good memory.

Just practice everyday, and you'll be as good as freddie. Piano-wise that is.


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Posted: 24 May 10, 16:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Dane wrote:

Just practice everyday, and you'll be as good as freddie.

I await your next chart topping composition with interest...

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Posted: 25 May 10, 05:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Right, I think a few misunderstandings need to be cleared up here:

1) "Perfect pitch" refers to being able to tell exactly what tone or combination of tones is sounding by ear (passive perfect pitch) and/or being able to 'hear' in one's mind or vocalise the exact tone(s) from, for instance, musical notation (active perfect pitch). It has nothing to do with the pitch-quality of a voice or instrument or anything like that.

2) Disregarding for a moment that, like Sebastian said, such latter day testimonies by friends and relatives have little or no value as evidence, being able to play a song upon hearing it (note that there are no comments on whether or not he was able to copy the song exactly or whether he was able to do what is usually referred to as "faking", meaning playing a correct-sounding accompaniment on the fly, common in jazz) is evidence of both relative pitch and a good musical ear and mind, but not necessarily of perfect pitch. In fact, most people with perfect pitch would have a lot of trouble playing a piece of music by ear if, for instance, the piano they were doing that on was a fraction of a tone out-of-tune in relation to the original recording.


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Posted: 25 May 10, 11:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

freddie wasnt even close to perfect pitch.  musical genius he was but perfect pitch you only need to hear outtakes of his singing to know he was deaf to music without a refernce.

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Posted: 25 May 10, 15:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

ThomasQuinn wrote: Right, I think a few misunderstandings need to be cleared up here:

1) "Perfect pitch" refers to being able to tell exactly what tone or combination of tones is sounding by ear (passive perfect pitch) and/or being able to 'hear' in one's mind or vocalise the exact tone(s) from, for instance, musical notation (active perfect pitch). It has nothing to do with the pitch-quality of a voice or instrument or anything like that.

2) Disregarding for a moment that, like Sebastian said, such latter day testimonies by friends and relatives have little or no value as evidence, being able to play a song upon hearing it (note that there are no comments on whether or not he was able to copy the song exactly or whether he was able to do what is usually referred to as "faking", meaning playing a correct-sounding accompaniment on the fly, common in jazz) is evidence of both relative pitch and a good musical ear and mind, but not necessarily of perfect pitch. In fact, most people with perfect pitch would have a lot of trouble playing a piece of music by ear if, for instance, the piano they were doing that on was a fraction of a tone out-of-tune in relation to the original recording.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Paravicini

This guy has perfect pitch--yet he can play anything after hearing it once (I don't know if that's related to perfect pitch or his Savant Syndrome/Autism).

I have perfect pitch myself--and let me tell you: It's a blessing and a curse at the same time. While I can identify notes, key signatures, tunings, the pitches of machines/vehicles and (to an extent) chords without references, it's a pain sometimes.


I always knew I was a star And now, the rest of the world seems to agree with me-Freddie Mercury
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Posted: 28 May 10, 10:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

mooghead wrote: Dane wrote:

Just practice everyday, and you'll be as good as freddie.

I await your next chart topping composition with interest...
Being in the charts nowadays has little to do with being a good musician I'm afraid.


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Posted: 28 May 10, 23:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I don't think Freddie had perfect/absolute pitch, although he obviously had tremendous musical skills and abilities.

I remember some The Works gig in which the audience chants "Mustapha" and Freddie asks the band "What key is it? Give me the key" Then I believe it is John who plays a note in his bass and only THEN Freddie starts singing.

I believe he did something similar in the intro to It's a Hard Life live, but I could be wrong.

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Posted: 29 May 10, 03:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thomas Quinn wrote:

Right, I think a few misunderstandings need to be cleared up here:

1) "Perfect pitch" refers to being able to tell exactly what tone or combination of tones is sounding by ear (passive perfect pitch) and/or being able to 'hear' in one's mind or vocalise the exact tone(s) from, for instance, musical notation (active perfect pitch). It has nothing to do with the pitch-quality of a voice or instrument or anything like that.


Right.  Now we have to clear up another misunderstanding here.  Do you make this shit up as you go, TQ?  You seem to think you're an expert on everything, so let me set you straight on this.

Just because I can go to the chalkboard and chart a song on the fly does not mean I have perfect pitch.  The fact that I can tell a string is out of tune is a much better example.

able to do what is usually referred to as "faking", meaning playing a correct-sounding accompaniment on the fly, common in jazz) is evidence of both relative pitch and a good musical ear and mind, but not necessarily of perfect pitch. In fact, most people with perfect pitch would have a lot of trouble playing a piece of music by ear if, for instance, the piano they were doing that on was a fraction of a tone out-of-tune in relation to the original recording.


No, again if they had perfect pitch, they'd know right away if the piano was out of tune or if the recording was.  And what kind of jazz do you listen to?  Alice Cooper?

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Posted: 29 May 10, 12:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Learn to read first, then learn how to use a dictionary to look up the terms you don't understand. That way, your rants might at least have the semblance of reason behind them.


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Posted: 29 May 10, 13:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

i dont understand this place .... the smarter the poster the more time they waste to try to talk to morons like microwave.  cannot you and sebastion and others use your intelligence on a better purpose and just leave microwave to stupidty?

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Posted: 30 May 10, 18:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Micrówave wrote:

"Just because I can go to the chalkboard and chart a song on the fly does not mean I have perfect pitch.  The fact that I can tell a string is out of tune is a much better example."

Not at all.  The very definition of perfect pitch is knowing notes when you hear them.  If you haven't been given a starting point and you can chart out a song upon hearing it for the first time, the only way to do this is with perfect pitch.

If you compare one guitar string to another, you can tell if it's out of tune without having perfect pitch.  Otherwise, every guitarist would have to use a tuner.


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