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The Alpha and Omega of Musical Pitch Processing: Absolute Pitch and Congenital Amusia

William J. Dawson
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 24 Number 3: Page 141 (September 2009)

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Abstract: The neurobiology of music has been a prolific source of publications in performing arts medicine over the past 15 years. A common research topic in music neurobiology is how humans perceive and process music. This review concentrates on two opposite aspects of pitch processing--heightened ability (absolute pitch) and absent ability (congenital amusia). From the bibliography of performing arts medicine found on the website of the Performing Arts Medicine Association, 165 citations were identified (as of February 2009) that deal with these topics, 149 on absolute pitch and 70 on congenital amusia, and form the basis of this review.

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