Three experiments on absolute- pitch identification were performed to examine how quickly and accurately subjects with absolute pitch could respond to different pitch classes. Sixty different pitches in a five-octave range were tested. Subjects with absolute pitch tried to identify the tones as rapidly as possible by pressing corresponding keys on a musical keyboard or a numerical keypad, or by naming vocally. Converging evidence was obtained indicating that the speed and accuracy of responses were directly related. In general, responses to the white-key notes on the musical keyboard were faster and more accurate than those to the black-key notes, C and G being most quickly and accurately identified. This seems to reflect the differential accessibility of pitch classes in the long-term memory of the absolute-pitch possessors, which may be interpreted as a consequence of the acquisition process of absolute pitch in early life.
One prominent example of globalization and mass cultural exchange is bilingualism, whereby world citizens learn to understand and speak multiple languages. Music, similar to language, is a human universal, and subject to the effects of globalization. In two experiments, we asked whether bimusicalism exists as a phenomenon, and whether it can occur even without explicit formal training and extensive music-making. Everyday music listeners who had significant exposure to music of both Indian (South Asian) and Westerners traditions (IW listeners) and listeners who had experience with only Indian or Western culture (I or W listeners) participated in recognition memory and tension judgment experiments where they listened to Western and Indian music. We found that while I and W listeners showed an in-culture bias, IW listeners showed equal responses to music from both cultures, suggesting that dual mental and affective sensitivities can be extended to a nonlinguistic domain.
It has been reported that patients with severely nonfluent aphasia are better at singing lyrics than speaking the same words. This observation inspired the development of Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT), a treatment whose effects have been shown, but whose efficacy is unproven and neural correlates remain unidentified. Because of its potential to engage/unmask language-capable regions in the unaffected right hemisphere, MIT is particularly well suited for patients with large left-hemisphere lesions. Using two patients with similar impairments and stroke size/location, we show the effects of MIT and a control intervention. Both interventions' post-treatment outcomes revealed significant improvement in propositional speech that generalized to unpracticed words and phrases; however, the MIT-treated patient's gains surpassed those of the control-treated patient. Treatment-associated imaging changes indicate that MIT's unique engagement of the right hemisphere, both through singing and tapping with the left hand to prime the sensorimotor and premotor cortices for articulation, accounts for its effect over nonintoned speech therapy.
Despite a wealth of evidence for the involvement of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in health and disease and the ability of music to affect ANS activity, few studies have systematically explored the therapeutic effects of music on ANS dysfunction. Furthermore, when ANS activity is quantified and analyzed, it is usually from a point of convenience rather than from an understanding of its physiological basis. After a review of the experimental and therapeutic literatures exploring music and the ANS, a "Neurovisceral Integration" perspective on the interplay between the central and autonomic nervous systems is introduced, and the associated implications for physiological, emotional, and cognitive health are explored. The construct of heart rate variability is discussed both as an example of this complex interplay and as a useful metric for exploring the sometimes subtle effect of music on autonomic response. Suggestions for future investigations using musical interventions are offered based on this integrative account.
Human hearing depends on a combination of cognitive and sensory processes that function by means of an interactive circuitry of bottom-up and top-down neural pathways, extending from the cochlea to the cortex and back again. Given that similar neural pathways are recruited to process sounds related to both music and language, it is not surprising that the auditory expertise gained over years of consistent music practice fine-tunes the human auditory system in a comprehensive fashion, strengthening neurobiological and cognitive underpinnings of both music and speech processing. In this review we argue not only that common neural mechanisms for speech and music exist, but that experience in music leads to enhancements in sensory and cognitive contributors to speech processing. Of specific interest is the potential for music training to bolster neural mechanisms that undergird language-related skills, such as reading and hearing speech in background noise, which are critical to academic progress, emotional health, and vocational success.
Entrainment has been studied in a variety of contexts including music perception, dance, verbal communication and motor coordination more generally. Here we seek to provide a unifying framework that incorporates the key aspects of entrainment as it has been studied in these varying domains. We propose that there are a number of types of entrainment that build upon pre-existing adaptations that allow organisms to perceive stimuli as rhythmic, to produce periodic stimuli, and to integrate the two using sensory feedback. We suggest that social entrainment is a special case of spatiotemporal coordination where the rhythmic signal originates from another individual. We use this framework to understand the function and evolutionary basis for coordinated rhythmic movement and to explore questions about the nature of entrainment in music and dance. The framework of entrainment presented here has a number of implications for the vocal learning hypothesis and other proposals for the evolution of coordinated rhythmic behavior across an array of species.
Music making (playing an instrument or singing) is a multimodal activity that involves the integration of auditory and sensorimotor processes. The ability to sing in humans is evident from infancy, and does not depend on formal vocal training but can be enhanced by training. Given the behavioral similarities between singing and speaking, as well as the shared and distinct neural correlates of both, researchers have begun to examine whether singing can be used to treat some of the speech-motor abnormalities associated with various neurological conditions. This paper reviews recent evidence on the therapeutic effects of singing, and how it can potentially ameliorate some of the speech deficits associated with conditions such as stuttering, Parkinson's disease, acquired brain lesions, and autism. By reviewing the status quo, it is hoped that future research can help to disentangle the relative contribution of factors to why singing works. This may ultimately lead to the development of specialized or "gold-standard" treatments for these disorders, and to an improvement in the quality of life for patients.
There is overwhelming anecdotal and empirical evidence for individual differences in musical preferences. However, little is known about what drives those preferences. Are people drawn to particular musical genres (e.g., rap, jazz) or to certain musical properties (e.g., lively, loud)? Recent findings suggest that musical preferences can be conceptualized in terms of five orthogonal dimensions: Mellow, Unpretentious, Sophisticated, Intense, and Contemporary (conveniently, MUSIC). The aim of the present research is to replicate and extend that work by empirically examining the hypothesis that musical preferences are based on preferences for particular musical properties and psychological attributes as opposed to musical genres. Findings from Study 1 replicated the five-factor MUSIC structure using musical excerpts from a variety of genres and subgenres and revealed musical attributes that differentiate each factor. Results from Studies 2 and 3 show that the MUSIC structure is recoverable using musical pieces from only the jazz and rock genres, respectively. Taken together, the current work provides strong evidence that preferences for music are determined by specific musical attributes and that the MUSIC model is a robust framework for conceptualizing and measuring such preferences.
TINNITUS IS THE PERCEPTION OF A SOUND IN THE absence of an external acoustic stimulus and it affects roughly 10-15% of the population. This review will discuss the different types of tinnitus and the current research on the underlying neural substrates of subjective tinnitus. Specific focus will be paid to the plasticity of the auditory cortex, the inputs from non-auditory centers in the central nervous system and how these are affected by tinnitus. We also will discuss several therapies that utilize music as a treatment for tinnitus and highlight a novel method that filters out the tinnitus frequency from the music, leveraging the plasticity in the auditory cortex as a means of reducing the impact of tinnitus.
WE INVESTIGATED PEOPLES’ ABILITY TO ADAPT TO THE fluctuating tempi of music performance. In Experiment 1, four pieces from different musical styles were chosen, and performances were recorded from a skilled pianist who was instructed to play with natural expression. Spectral and rescaled range analyses on interbeat interval time-series revealed long-range (1/f type) serial correlations and fractal scaling in each piece. Stimuli for Experiment 2 included two of the performances from Experiment 1, with mechanical versions serving as controls. Participants tapped the beat at ¼- and ⅛-note metrical levels, successfully adapting to large tempo fluctuations in both performances. Participants predicted the structured tempo fluctuations, with superior performance at the ¼-note level. Thus, listeners may exploit long-range correlations and fractal scaling to predict tempo changes in music. [Work supported by NSF grant BCS-0094229.].
Knowledge of musical rules and structures has been reliably demonstrated in humans of different ages, cultures, and levels of music training, and has been linked to our musical preferences. However, how humans acquire knowledge of and develop preferences for music remains unknown. The present study shows that humans rapidly develop knowledge and preferences when given limited exposure to a new musical system. Using a non-traditional, unfamiliar musical scale (Bohlen-Pierce scale), we created finite-state musical grammars from which we composed sets of melodies. After 25-30 min of passive exposure to the melodies, participants showed extensive learning as characterized by recognition, generalization, and sensitivity to the event frequencies in their given grammar, as well as increased preference for repeated melodies in the new musical system. Results provide evidence that a domain-general statistical learning mechanism may account for much of the human appreciation for music.
These two quotations reflect common attitudes about music. Tolstoy’s comment suggests that music conveys emotion, whereas Torke’s question implies that music influences listeners’ emotions. Section 5.2 of the present chapter includes a discussion of the various theoretical approaches that
are used to explain affective responses to music. Few scholars dispute the claim that listeners recognize emotions in music.
Some argue, however, that music does not elicit true emotions in the listener (e.g., Kivy 1980, 1990, 2001). For example,
many years ago Meyer (1956) posited that affective responses to music consist of experiences of tension and relaxation (rather
than actual emotions), which occur when listeners’ expectancies about what will happen next in a piece of music are violated
or fulfilled, respectively. This position has been challenged in recent years with findings from studies using behavioral,
physiological, and neurological measures, all of which indicate that listeners respond affectively to music (e.g., Krumhansl
1997; Gagnon and Peretz 2003; Mitterschiffthaler et al. 2007; Witvliet and Vrana 2007). Nonetheless, the debate continues
(e.g., Konečni 2008).
This chapter is about the sounds made by musical instruments and how we perceive them. It explains the basics of musical note
perception, such as why a particular instrument plays a specific range of notes; why instruments come in families; and why
we hear distinctive differences between members of a given instrument family, even when they are playing the same note. The
answers to these questions might, at first, seem obvious; one could say that brass instruments all make the same kind of sound
because they are all made of brass, and the different members of the family sound different because they are different sizes.
But answers at this level just prompt more questions, such as: What do we mean when we say the members of a family produce
the same sound? What is it that is actually the same, and what is it that is different, when different instruments within
a family play the same melody on the same notes? To answer these and similar questions, we examine the relationship between
the physical variables of musical instruments, such as the length, mass, and tension of a string, and the variables of auditory perception, such as pitch, timbre, and loudness. The discussion reveals that there are three acoustic properties of musical sounds, as they occur in the air, between the instrument and the listener, that are particularly useful
in summarizing the effects of the physical properties on the musical tones they produce, and in explaining how these musical
tones produce the perceptions that we hear.
One of the most pervasive structural principles found in music historically and cross-culturally is a hierarchy of tones.
Certain tones serve as reference pitches; they are stable, repeated frequently, are emphasized rhythmically, and appear at
structurally important positions in musical phrases. The details of the hierarchies differ across styles and cultures. Variation
occurs in the particular intervals formed by pitches in the musical scale and the hierarchical levels assigned to pitches
within the scale. This variability suggests that an explanation for how these hierarchies are formed cannot be derived from
invariant acoustic facts, such as the harmonic structure (overtones) of complex tones. Rather, the evidence increasingly suggests
that these hierarchies are products of cognition and, moreover, that they rely on fundamental psychological principles shared
by other domains of perception and cognition.
Music is a high-level cognitive capacity, similar in many respects to language (Patel 2007). Like language, music is universal among humans, and musical systems vary among cultures and depend upon learning. But unlike language, music rarely makes reference to the external world. It consists of independent, that is, self-contained, patterns of sound, certain aspects of which are found universally among musical cultures. These two aspects – independence and universality – suggest that general principles of neural dynamics might underlie music perception and musical behavior. Such principles could provide a set of innate constraints that shape human musical behavior and enable children to acquire musical knowledge. This chapter outlines just such a set of principles, explaining key aspects of musical experience directly in terms of nervous system dynamics. At the outset, it may not be obvious that this is possible, but by the end of the chapter it should become clear that a great deal of evidence already supports this view. This chapter examines the evidence that links music perception and behavior to nervous system dynamics and attempts to tie together existing strands of research within a unified theoretical framework.
It is a remarkable feat that listeners develop stable representations for auditory events, given the varied, and often ambiguous,
temporal patterning of acoustic energy received by the ears. The focus of this chapter is on empirical and theoretical approaches
to tempo and rhythm, two aspects of the temporal patterning of sound that are fundamental to musical communication.
Children (3––6 years old) and adults were trained for 6 weeks to identify a single tone, C5. Test sessions, held at the end of each week, had participants identify C5 within a set of seven alternative tones. By the third week of training, identification accuracy of children 5––6 years old surpassed the accuracies of children 3––4 years old and adults. Combined with an analysis of perceptual strategies, the data provide strong support for a critical period for absolute pitch acquisition. Received July 12, 2003, accepted August 1,2003
STUDIES HAVE SHOWN THAT PITCH SET, which refers to a set of pitches of constituent tones of a melody, is a primary cue for perceiving the key of a melody. The present study investigates whether characteristics other than pitch set function as additional cues for key perception. In Experiment 1, we asked 13 musicians with absolute p itch t o select k eys for 60 stim ulus t one sequences consisting of the same pitch set differing in pitch sequence. In Experiment 2, we asked 31 nonmusicians to select tonal centers for the 60 stimulus tone sequences. Responses made by the musicians and the nonmusicians yielded essentially equivalent results, suggesting that key perception is never unique to musicians. The listeners' responses were limited to a few keys/tones, and some tone sequences elicited agreement among the majority of the listeners for each of the keys/tones. These findings confirm that key perception is not only defined by pitch set but also influenced by characteristics other than pitch set such as pitch sequence.
Expressive performer movements in musical performances represent implied levels of communication and can contain certain characteristics and meanings of embodied human expressivity. This study investigated the contribution of ancillary body movements on the perception of musical performances. Using kinematic displays of four clarinetists, perceptual experiments were conducted in which participants were asked to rate specific music-related dimensions of the performance and the performer. Additionally, motions of particular body parts, such as movements of the arms and torso, as well as motion amplitudes of the whole body were manipulated in the kinematic display. It was found that manipulations of arm and torso movements have fewer effects on the observers‘ ratings of the musicians than manipulations concerning the movement of the whole body. The results suggest that the multimodal experience of musicians is less dependent on the players‘ particular body motion behaviors than it is on the players‘ overall relative motion characteristics.
This study examined the efficacy of Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) in a male singer (KL) with severe Broca’s aphasia. Thirty novel phrases were allocated to one of three experimental conditions: unrehearsed, rehearsed verbal production (repetition), and rehearsed verbal production with melody (MIT). The results showed superior production of MIT phrases during therapy. Comparison of performance at baseline, 1 week, and 5 weeks after therapy revealed an initial beneficial effect of both types of rehearsal; however, MIT was more durable, facilitating longer-term phrase production. Our findings suggest that MIT facilitated KL’s speech praxis, and that combining melody and speech through rehearsal promoted separate storage and/or access to the phrase representation.
We propose that the phrase repetitions in the canon per tonos from J.S. Bach's Musical Offering are not recognized by listeners as being successively upward. We examine possible causes for this effect and suggest that it may be due to Bach's use of chromatic harmony. To test this hypothesis, we conducted an experiment in which one group of listeners was presented with Bach's canon, while another group was presented with a modified version of the canon in which the harmonies were altered in order to make the upward phrase repetitions more apparent. We found that subjects recognized the ascending pattern in the modified canon with greater ease than they recognized the ascending pattern in Bach's canon. We also consider briefly why Bach may have wished to cause such an effect.
We address the question of how syntactic and prosodic factors interact during the comprehension of spoken sentences. Previous studies using event-related brain potential measures have revealed that syntactic phrase structure violations elicit an early left anterior negativity followed by a late posterior positivity (P600). We present recent experimental evidence showing that prosodic information can modulate these components and thus the syntactic processes they reflect. We conclude that the initiation of first-pass parsing processes is affected by the appropriateness of the prosodic realization of the preceding element.
This study relates various quantifiable characteristics of a musical pattern to subjective assessments of a pattern's salience. Via score analysis and listening, twelve music undergraduates examined excerpts taken from Chopin's mazurkas. They were instructed to rate already-discovered patterns, giving high ratings to patterns that they thought were noticeable and/or important. Each undergraduate rated thirty specified patterns and ninety patterns were examined in total. Twenty-nine quantifiable attributes (some novel but most proposed previously) were determined for each pattern, such as the number of notes a pattern contained. A model useful for relating participants' ratings to the attributes was determined using variable selection and cross-validation. Individual participants were much poorer than the model at predicting the consensus ratings of other participants. While the favoured model contains only three variables, many variables were identified as having some predictive value if considered in isolation. Implications for music psychology, analysis, and information retrieval are discussed.
In a previous study, mechanical and expressive clarinet performances of Bach's Suite no. II and Mozart's Quintet for Clarinet and Strings were analysed to determine whether some acoustical correlates of timbre (e.g., Spectral Centroid), timing (Intertone Onset Interval) and dynamics (Root Mean Square envelope) showed significant differences depending on the expressive intention of the performer. In the present companion study, we investigate the effects of these acoustical parameters on listeners' preferences. An analysis-by-synthesis approach was used to transform previously recorded clarinet performances by reducing the expressive deviations from the Spectral Centroid, the Intertone Onset Interval and the acoustical energy. Twenty skilled musicians were asked to select which version they preferred in a paired-comparison task. The results of statistical analyses show that the removal of the Spectral Centroid variations resulted in the greatest loss of musical preference.