Essentially, without perfect pitch, could someone learn a language that requires you to have the pitch perfect.

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    If perfect pitch is required, then someone without perfect pitch probably could not learn the language - but human ingenuity would probably end up developing a translator device for it. May 11, 2022 at 13:22
  • @JeffZeitlin, great idea! May 11, 2022 at 19:45
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    I think you'll need to clarify some things about your aliens: perfect pitch just means you can identify a "musical note" when it's played. It doesn't mean you can sing. Or whistle. My question is: what is the correlation between the high incidence of perfect pitch in that species and their capacity for language and also between langue and parole. As written, I see no reason whatsoever than a professionally trained singer couldn't join in that conversation.
    – elemtilas
    May 14, 2022 at 0:31
  • @elemtilas, you’re right, I just didn’t know if perfect pitch was necessary to understand the language. May 14, 2022 at 13:52

1 Answer 1


I think no one knows this answer for the general case because no one knows whether all people can learn perfect pitch. I don't think we know what causes this "talent" to say what are its limitations. There is evidence that some people can.

A 2015 study found that some adults can acquire perfect pitch for months. Presumably the initial study's methods are theoretically improvable and repeatable. If you can accept the sci-fi speculation that warp drive is plausible with effort, then surely you can accept the lesser speculation that perfect pitch is plausible with effort. If you want to make the solution more colorful, then maybe write that medically inducing some kind of synesthesia is easier than teaching conscious, full-speed perfect pitch ;)


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