In music, tonal memory or "aural recall" is the ability to recall a previously sounded tone. 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.
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 is generally not musically relevant, and their absolute tonal memory declines substantially or completely over time if not constantly reinforced.
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