Absolute musical ear refers to what abilities? General and special abilities

To the art of music seeks to joina lot of people, if not on a professional level, then at least on an amateur one. However, this cannot be done without musical ability and hearing. Absolute ear for music is one of several types of musical ability and causes a lot of controversy about the nature of its formation. Is it possible to develop it? Let's try to figure it out.

General and special abilities

absolute ear for music refers
General abilities without which it is impossible evenStarting music lessons is a musical memory and a healthy psychomotor. By musical memory is meant several types of memory, allowing in one form or another to memorize and play musical works - by ear or visually memorizing the arrangement of notes on the keyboard, visually “photographing” a musical score, etc.

The core of musicality is also:

  • modal feeling that allows a person to distinguish between the emotional coloring of music and its harmony;
  • musical-auditory ideas about the pitch of sounds, the nature of their reproduction, the order of movement (this also includes the ability to reproduce what is heard by the ear);
  • the perception of rhythm and the ability to work in a given rhythmic pattern.

Special abilities include thosewhich are necessary for a specific performing activity (for example, the violinist is presented with a number of requirements that differ from the requirements for a vocalist or pianist), as well as the abilities necessary for performing composing activities.

General and special abilities are not exhausted only by the above components, besides the boundaries between these two groups are not quite clear.

Types of ear for music

general and special abilities
Musical-auditory performances are also called musical ear in a different way. There are several types of it:

  1. External (perception of music in real time) and internal (ability to play music in imagination).
  2. Absolute (ability to accurately recognize and reproduce individual sounds and melodies) and relative (ability to build a melody or sound scale, based on the mode and harmony).
  3. Harmonic (perception of polyphonic chords and parts) and melodic (perception of monophonic melodies).

What is an absolute ear for music?

In turn, an absolute ear for musicdivided into 2 categories: passive and active. Passive is when a person can precisely name the pitch of the reproduced sound, recognize the chord taken or even name the notes that make up the melody. A well-developed, active, absolute ear allows a person to accurately reproduce a given melody, scale, or chord.

Absolute musical ear refers, in theory, togeneral musical abilities, because the musical-aural performances are in this category. However, researchers have heated discussions about this classification.

hearing test

First, refer absolute pitch to generalabilities would be wrong, because for any type of musical activity, relative hearing is more important - the ability to build relative modalities (this is what musicality means). Absolute hearing is a unique phenomenon. However, its presence does not indicate a person’s ability to understand music, but rather indicates a good auditory memory, which accurately captures musical information. Therefore, some researchers argue that the absolute ear for music is a special ability. Again, it has not yet been established whether it is an innate ability or an acquired one.

How to make a test of musical ear

development of absolute ear for music
The test for the presence of musical ear passstudents before enrolling in a music school, students before enrolling in a music school, etc. For people who plan to play music professionally, such checks are a common thing. However, in order to turn music into your hobby, you also need to make sure that you have the ability. How to check the musical ear at home?

It does not require sophisticated methods - just complete a few simple tasks with a partner.

Task number 1

It is advisable that the person who passes the test,stood with his back to the instrument. A partner must take an arbitrary note on the keyboard. The subject is given a couple of seconds to memorize its sound. Then the helper should play notes one after another, and the subject should recognize among them the note that he keeps in his memory. Repeat the test should be several times.

Task number 2

If the person who passes the test knows the name of the notes, then you can try the same technique: the partner takes an arbitrary note - the subject voices its name.

Task number 3

The ear for music also implies goodrhythm perception. The helper should pencil out a certain rhythmic pattern about a hard surface that will last 5-7 seconds. The subject must repeat it exactly.

Perform a thorough hearing testIt may not work the first time - this is normal even for people who have a hearing. But if during repeated repetitions the number of correct answers is less than 20-30%, then, most likely, the musical ear is absent or very poorly developed.

How to develop an absolute ear for music

hearing development exercises
Since absolute ear for music refers tostill poorly studied sphere of human abilities, with a strong desire, you can still try to develop it: even if the test was not satisfactory, it is not a guarantee that a person does not have the makings. Performing systematic exercises for the development of hearing can finally clarify the situation: confirm or deny the result of the first listening.

Exercises for the development of absolute musical ear

When the development of musical ear is accomplished, the exercises should be chosen to begin with the simplest. When they are mastered - you can complicate the job. For the training will need an assistant.

Exercise number 1

The exercise as a whole repeats exercise No. 1 oftest of musical ear. The only difference is that this time, when the student makes a mistake, he needs to be told the correct answer and give another time to remember the sound of the note, as well as its name (if he is competent in musical notation). Pedagogical studies have shown that the message of the correct answer improves the results of further exercises by 25-30%.

how to check a musical ear

Exercise number 2

When the previous exercise is mastered, it is worthgo to a more complex version - musical dictation. For it is necessary to take the simplest melody - from the textbook for the 1st grade of music school.

For the first dictation, the partner must slowly,Observing the size and all the pauses, play only a few bars, and the subject - to record a melody with notes by ear. Over time, the duration of the melody can be increased, trying to write more complex dictations. Check and work on the bugs is a mandatory component of this exercise.


A hearing test can say a lot about a person’s abilities, but not everything. Some subjects are too worried, and this prevents them from showing their full potential.

However, if you decide to developmusical ear, you need to understand that the exercise should be, if not a daily lesson, then be carried out at least 3-4 times a week. With non-systematic exercises, the result will be difficult to achieve, and in some cases it will have to wait for years. The development of absolute musical ear is not easy, you need to arm yourself with patience.