The pitch of a language is its melody – the rising and falling of the tones to create additional meanings. Of course, everyone has their own pitch of voice, so we are concerned with relative pitch – the amount that the pitch rises and falls relative to itself. The same sentence used with varying pitch can completely change the implied meaning of that sentence:
In each of these cases, the emphasis of the sentence is changed. There’s also an implied meaning (for example: clarification, “are you deaf?”, “are you stupid?”, showing annoyance, etc) which listeners may interpret in a variety of ways. Spanish uses this as well.
In English, we actually have more levels of pitch than Spanish. Linguists typically divide pitch into levels. English has four levels (from level one being the lowest, to level four, the highest), whereas Spanish has three levels. These are relative pitches, as everybody’s basic pitch level will be different. Level two is known as the “mid” pitch, with level three being slightly higher, and level one slightly lower.