pitchable, adj.
/pich/, v.t.
1. to erect or set up (a tent, camp, or the like).
2. to put, set, or plant in a fixed or definite place or position.
3. to throw, fling, hurl, or toss.
4. Baseball.
a. to deliver or serve (the ball) to the batter.
b. to fill the position of pitcher in (a game): He pitched a no-hitter. He pitched a good game.
c. to choose or assign as a pitcher for a game: The manager pitched Greene the next night.
5. to set at a certain point, degree, level, etc.: He pitched his hopes too high.
6. Music. to set at a particular pitch, or determine the key or keynote of (a melody).
7. Cards.
a. to lead (a card of a particular suit), thereby fixing that suit as trump.
b. to determine (the trump) in this manner.
8. to pave or revet with small stones.
9. Masonry.
a. to square (a stone), cutting the arrises true with a chisel.
b. to cut with a chisel.
10. Informal. to attempt to sell or win approval for; promote; advertise: to pitch breakfast foods at a sales convention.
11. Informal. to approach or court (as a person, company, or the public) in hope of a sale, approval, or interest; make an appeal to.
12. to cause to pitch.
13. Obs. to set in order; to arrange, as a field of battle.
14. Obs. to fix firmly as in the ground; embed.
15. to plunge or fall forward or headlong.
16. to lurch.
17. to throw or toss.
18. Baseball.
a. to deliver or serve the ball to the batter.
b. to fill the position of pitcher: He pitched for the Mets last year.
19. to slope downward; dip.
20. to plunge with alternate fall and rise of bow and stern, as a ship (opposed to roll).
21. (of a rocket or guided missile) to deviate from a stable flight attitude by oscillations of the longitudinal axis in a vertical plane about the center of gravity.
22. to fix a tent or temporary habitation; encamp: They pitched by a mountain stream.
23. Golf. to play a pitch shot.
24. Informal. to attempt to sell or win approval for something or someone by advertising, promotion, etc.: politicians pitching on TV.
25. Rare. to become established; settle down.
26. pitch in, Informal.
a. to begin to work in earnest and vigorously: If I really pitch in, I may be able to finish the paper before the deadline.
b. to contribute to a common cause; join in: When they took up a collection for the annual dinner, he promised to pitch in.
27. pitch into, Informal.
a. to attack verbally or physically: He apologized for pitching into me yesterday.
b. to begin to work on vigorously.
28. pitch on or upon, to choose, esp. casually or without forethought; decide on: We pitched on a day for our picnic.
29. relative point, position, or degree: a high pitch of excitement.
30. the degree of inclination or slope; angle: the pitch of an arch; the pitch of a stair.
31. the highest point or greatest height: enjoying the pitch of success.
32. (in music, speech, etc.) the degree of height or depth of a tone or of sound, depending upon the relative rapidity of the vibrations by which it is produced.
33. Music. the particular tonal standard with which given tones may be compared in respect to their relative level.
34. Acoustics. the apparent predominant frequency sounded by an acoustical source.
35. act or manner of pitching.
36. a throw or toss.
37. Baseball. the serving of the ball to the batter by the pitcher, usually preceded by a windup or stretch.
38. a pitching movement or forward plunge, as of a ship.
39. upward or downward inclination or slope: a road descending at a steep pitch.
40. a sloping part or place: to build on the pitch of a hill.
41. a quantity of something pitched or placed somewhere.
42. Cricket. the central part of the field; the area between the wickets.
43. Informal.
a. a high-pressure sales talk: The salesman made his pitch for the new line of dresses.
b. a specific plan of action; angle: to tackle a problem again, using a new pitch.
44. the specific location in which a person or object is placed or stationed; allotted or assigned place.
45. Chiefly Brit. the established location, often a street corner, of a beggar, street peddler, newspaper vendor, etc.
46. Aeron.
a. the nosing of an airplane or spacecraft up or down about a transverse axis.
b. the distance that a given propeller would advance in one revolution.
47. (of a rocket or guided missile)
a. the motion due to pitching.
b. the extent of the rotation of the longitudinal axis involved in pitching.
48. Also called plunge. Geol. the inclination of a linear feature, as the axis of a fold or an oreshoot, from the horizontal.
49. Mach.
a. the distance between the corresponding surfaces of two adjacent gear teeth measured either along the pitch circle (circular pitch) or between perpendiculars to the root surfaces (normal pitch).
b. the ratio of the number of teeth in a gear or splined shaft to the pitch circle diameter, expressed in inches.
c. the distance between any two adjacent things in a series, as screw threads, rivets, etc.
50. (in carpet weaving) the weftwise number of warp ends, usually determined in relation to 27 inches (68.6 cm).
51. Cards.
a. See all fours (def. 2).
52. Masonry. a true or even surface on a stone.
53. (of typewriter type) a unit of measurement indicating the number of characters to a horizontal inch: Pica is a 10-pitch type.
[1175-1225; (v.) ME picchen to thrust, pierce, set, set up (a tent, etc.), array, throw; perh. akin to PICK1; (n.) deriv. of the v.]
Syn. 3. See throw.
pitchlike, adj.
/pich/, n.
1. any of various dark, tenacious, and viscous substances for caulking and paving, consisting of the residue of the distillation of coal tar or wood tar.
2. any of certain bitumens, as asphalt: mineral pitch.
3. any of various resins.
4. the sap or crude turpentine that exudes from the bark of pines.
5. to smear or cover with pitch.
[bef. 900; ME pich, OE pic < L pic- (s. of pix), whence also D pek, G Pech; akin to Gk píssa pitch]

* * *

In music, position of a single sound in the complete range of sound; this quality varies with the number of vibrations per second (hertz, Hz) of the sounding body and is perceived as highness or lowness.

A higher pitch has a higher number of vibrations. In Western music, standard pitches have long been used to facilitate tuning. A confusing variety of pitches prevailed until the 19th century, when the continual rise in pitch made some international agreement a matter of practical necessity. In 1939 the A above middle C was standardized as 440 Hz. See also interval; tuning and temperament.

* * *

      in speech, the relative highness or lowness of a tone as perceived by the ear, which depends on the number of vibrations per second produced by the vocal cords. Pitch is the main acoustic correlate of tone and intonation (qq.v.).

      in the chemical-process industries, the black or dark brown residue obtained by distilling coal tar, wood tar, fats, fatty acids, or fatty oils.

      Coal tar pitch is a soft to hard and brittle substance containing chiefly aromatic resinous compounds along with aromatic and other hydrocarbons and their derivatives; it is used chiefly as road tar, in waterproofing roofs and other structures, and to make electrodes.

       wood tar pitch is a bright, lustrous substance containing resin acids; it is used chiefly in the manufacture of plastics and insulating materials and in caulking seams.

      The pitches derived from fats, fatty acids, or fatty oils by distillation are usually soft substances containing polymers and decomposition products; they are used chiefly in varnishes and paints and in floor coverings.

      in music, position of a single sound in the complete range of sound. Sounds are higher or lower in pitch according to the frequency of vibration of the sound waves producing them. A high frequency (e.g., 880 hertz [cycles per second]) is perceived as a high pitch; a low frequency (e.g., 55 Hz) as a low pitch.

      In Western music (music, Western), standard pitches have long been used to facilitate tuning among various performing groups. Usually a′ above middle C (c′) is taken as a reference pitch. The current standard pitch of a′ = 440 Hz was adopted in 1939. For some eighty years previous, a′ had been set at 435 Hz. A confusing variety of pitches prevailed until the 19th century, when the continual rise in pitch made some international agreement a matter of practical necessity.

      In the mid-17th century, the Hotteterres (Hotteterre, Jacques), Parisian instrument makers, remodeled the entire woodwind family, using the Paris organ pitch of about a′ = 415, or a semitone below a′ = 440. This new, or Baroque, pitch, called Kammerton (“chamber pitch”) in Germany, was one tone below the old Renaissance woodwind pitch, or Chorton (“choir pitch”).

      After about 1760 the conventional pitch rose, reaching a′ = 440 by about 1820. By the latter half of the 19th century, it reached the “Old Philharmonic Pitch” of about a′ = 453. The inconvenience of this high pitch became apparent, for it strained singers' voices and made wind instruments quickly out of date. An international commission met in Paris in 1858–59 and adopted a compromise pitch called diapason normal (known in the United States as “French pitch,” or “international pitch”) at a′ = 435. England, in 1896, adopted the “New Philharmonic Pitch” at a′ = 439 and, in 1939, adopted the U.S. standard pitch of a′ = 440. In the mid-20th century, pitch again tended to creep upward as some European woodwind builders used the pitch a′ = 444.

      When frequency numbers are not used for a particular pitch, say D or B, a system of lowercase and capital letters indicates the octave in which it occurs. The notes in the octave below middle C are indicated by lowercase letters from c to b; the notes of the second octave below middle C are shown as C, D, . . . B; the notes of the next lower octave as C′, D′, . . . B′. Middle C is shown as c′, and the notes in the octave above middle C as d′, e′, . . . b′. The C above middle C is shown as c″, and the next higher C as c‴.

      Absolute, or perfect, pitch is the ability to identify by ear any note at some standard pitch or to sing a specified note, say G♯, at will. Fully developed absolute pitch is rare. It appears early in childhood and is apparently an acute form of memory of sounds of a particular instrument, such as the home piano. Some musicians slowly acquire a degree of absolute pitch, if only for the familiar a′ = 440.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.


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