Alexander about a musical ear in “Your Body” 14.04.2016

Have you ever wonder about what a musical ear really is and how a tone is perceived by a person with perfect pitch? Read this article and you’ll get some answers. 🙂

Do you think you can’t sing? Then you are probably wrong.

Source: , published 14.04.2016. Text: Åshild Amland. Translated by TessaLa, revision by Anni Jowett

If you think you don’t have a musical ear, you are probably wrong. Most people have a musical ear, it’s more a discussion about which level.

Having a musical ear means to have a good tone memory. But to get that you need to practise a lot, explains the University lecturer in musical ear technic at Norges Musikkhøgskole, Victoria Cecilie Jakhellen.

– People may say that someone has a musical ear or they have not at all. But it is not that simple. Most People have a musical ear, she says in the programme “Kroppen din”.

Good tone memory

Most people have more or less  a relative musical ear. With a relative musical ear you can distinguish between tones.

– Some may recognise so-called intervals between tones.  Then you can tune an instrument, says host and doctor, Line Jansrud

If you want to develop your musical ear, you need to work a lot with the awareness of things in the music, advises Jakhelln.

– It means thinking of the music inside of yourself. If you can imagine the tone it is much easier to hit the tone, she says.

Perfect pitch

Most people with a relatively good musical ear are able to tunean instrument, but only if they have the reference. If you have perfect pitch it works differently. Then you have the tone stored in your head, and you recognise the tone as if it was a colour.

This only affects one out of thousand in the population, and it is not possible to develop in adulthood.

– Most people with perfect pitch began  practising music before the age of six, says Jansrud.

The musician Alexander Rybak has a perfect pitch. This was something he didn’t realise until he was ten, eleven years old.

– I practised the violin for two hours after school every day, and I thought all kids did that, he adds.


Many may have heard the term “tone-deaf”. But being tone-deaf is hardly possible.

– If someone is totally tone-deaf it means that there are no development even though one starts practising on it. Those people don’t exist, says Jakhelln.


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