Familial aggregation of absolute pitch

Am J Hum Genet. 2000 Sep;67(3):755-8. doi: 10.1086/303057. Epub 2000 Jul 31.


Absolute pitch (AP) is a behavioral trait that is defined as the ability to identify the pitch of tones in the absence of a reference pitch. AP is an ideal phenotype for investigation of gene and environment interactions in the development of complex human behaviors. Individuals who score exceptionally well on formalized auditory tests of pitch perception are designated as "AP-1." As described in this report, auditory testing of siblings of AP-1 probands and of a control sample indicates that AP-1 aggregates in families. The implications of this finding for the mapping of loci for AP-1 predisposition are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Environment
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics*
  • Hearing Tests
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Multifactorial Inheritance / genetics
  • Music
  • Nuclear Family
  • Phenotype
  • Pitch Discrimination / physiology*