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In music, tonal memory is the ability to recall a previously sounded tone (Gorow 2002, p.35). Tonal memory assists with staying in tune and may be developed through ear training. Extensive tonal memory may be recognized as an indication of potential compositional ability (Haroutounian 2002, p.74).
Tonal memory may be used as a strategy for learning to identify musical tones absolutely. Although those who attempt the strategy believe they are learning absolute pitch, the ability thus learned is generally not musically relevant, and their absolute tonal memory declines substantially or completely over time if not constantly reinforced.
- Gorow, Ron (2002). Hearing and Writing Music: Professional Training for Today's Musician (2nd Edition). ISBN 978-0-9629496-7-8.
- Haroutounian, Joanne (2002). Kindling the Spark : Recognizing and Developing Musical Talent. ISBN 978-0-19-512948-9.
- Bachem, A. (1940). The genesis of absolute pitch.. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 11: 434–439.
- Meyer, M. (1899). Is the memory of absolute pitch capable of development by training?. Psychological Review 6: 514–516.Full text
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