Acoustic Learning, Inc.
Absolute Pitch research, ear training and more

Recommended reading about auditory cognition

Academic press:

Harmonic Experience by W.A. Mathieu.  A college-level textbook which serves to introduce the reader to concepts of musical harmonic interaction.  It is written to be read by practicing musicians, not by scientists.

Thinking In Sound edited by Stephen McAdams and Emmanual Bigand.  This book would be worth it for the introduction alone-- yet it has an entire collection of fascinating articles about how we learn to perceive and represent sound.

The Psychology of Music edited by Diana Deutsch.  The definitive publication of the field of musical cognition.  Daniel Levitin wrote a review of it.  It is a collection of scientific articles, each of which is intended to clearly present a different basic tenet of this new science.

Memory and Brain by Larry Squire.  Scientific discussion of how memory and learning affect and change the brain.

Principles of Perceptual Learning and Development by Eleanor Gibson.  Recommended by Robert Goldstone.

Musical study:

Dr Chiu Kay Lau's Music Edutherapy.  Specifically, The Acquisition of Absolute Pitch Among Talented, Mainstreamed And Special Educational Needs Students.  A massive e-book with loads of information regarding absolute pitch and how it may be taught.

Erziehung zum absoluten Gehör by Naoyuki and Ruth Taneda.  GERMAN LANGUAGE TEXT.  The title translates to "Education for the Absolute Ear," and that's exactly what it is.  106 pages, illustrated with photographs, explaining how to teach your child (3-5 years old) to hear in perfect pitch as he or she learns to play piano.  The book is still in print and available from the publisher.

Absolute Pitch by Saisho Hazuki.  JAPANESE LANGUAGE TEXT.  I don't yet know what its contents say.

Absolute Pitch by an author whose name is written in Japanese.  JAPANESE LANGUAGE TEXT.  At least, I'm inferring the title, because it features the same characters on its cover as the Hazuki book.

100% Absolute PitchJAPANESE LANGUAGE TEXT.  This method uses colored whistles to train children to recognize three different chords (C-major I, IV, and V) and then to hear the pitches inside those chords.

Absolute Pitch Q&A.   JAPANESE LANGUAGE TEXT.  I have three volumes of this series, even though I don't yet know what they say.  They appear to be descriptive of the Eguchi method.

Hearing and Writing Music by Ron Gorow.  Teaches distance listening instead of harmonic perception.  According to its back cover, this book is recommended by Randy Newman, Richard Carpenter, and Herb Alpert.  [Eric adds:  I read through [Gorow's book] some time ago, and its primary goal is to teach musical transcription. It does include "distance between pitches," but only as one optional technique out of several. His theory is to encourage you to use a variety of mnemonic devices, and eventually acquire (through practice) a holistic and efficient transcription method. The major failing of the book is that it leaves all of the actual learning up to the reader's ability to develop his own exercises.]


How Children Fail and How Children Learn by John Holt.  Observations and anecdotes well worth reading by anyone who considers teaching little children.  They're like this website in their organization and presentation-- loosely grouped, chronological entries, told in the first person.

Dumbing Us Down by John Gatto.  A cogent and provocative condemnation of compulsory mass schooling.


The Scientist in the Crib by Alison Gopnik, Andrew Meltzoff, and Patricia Kuhl.  It offers explanations of how very young children (from birth to age 4) think and learn.  The book especially explores and emphasizes the early development of listening comprehension.

Eye and Brain: the Psychology of Seeing by R.L. Gregory.  An exhaustive, but exhilarating, treatment of the physiology and psychology of vision.  It is (if you'll forgive the phrase) an eye-opening compendium of fascinating fact.

The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker.  Well-considered explorations of how (and why) the human mind finds meaning in sound.

Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy by Robert Jourdain.  You can read Daniel Levitin's review of this book too.

Music and the Mind by Anthony Storr.


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