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Online Detection of Tonal Pop-Out in Modulating Contexts

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Two experiments examined sensitivity to key change in short sequences adapted from Bach chorales. In Experiment 1, musically trained listeners identified key changes in single-voice (i.e., soprano, alto, tenor, bass) and in four-voice presentations of the sequences. There were two main findings. First, listeners judged the distance and direction of key change in single voices and in four-voice harmony with approximately equal ease. Second, for four-voice harmony but not for single voices, the direction of key change on the cycle of fifths influenced perceived distance. For an equivalent number of steps on the cycle, greater distance was associated with modulations moving in the counterclockwise, rather than in the clockwise, direction. These findings were replicated in Experiment 2, in which musically untrained listeners rated perceived distance of key change. In addition, the directional asymmetry found for four-voice harmony also was found for individual bass voices. The evidence suggests that harmony and melody operate somewhat independently in the implication of key structure. Difficulties for a strictly hierarchical model of perceived musical pitch structure are discussed and a partially hierarchical model is considered.
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Two experiments explored the representation of the tonal hierarchy in Western music among older (aged 60 to 80) and younger (aged 15 to 22) musicians and nonmusicians. A probe tone technique was used: 4 notes from the major triad were presented, followed by 1 note chosen from the 12 notes of the chromatic scale. Whereas musicians had a better sense of the tonal hierarchy than nonmusicians, older adults were no worse than younger adults in differentiating the notes according to musical principles. However, older adults were more prone than younger adults to classify the notes by frequency proximity (pitch height) when proximity was made more salient, as were nonmusicians compared with musicians. With notes having ambiguous pitch height, pitch height effects disappeared among older adults but not nonmusicians. Older adults seem to have internalized tonal structure, but they sometimes fail to inhibit less musically relevant information.
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We explore the possibility of studying music perception with responsetime measures. Subjects heard either a chord (tonic triad) or scale prime, followed by a single note, and indicated whether the note did or did not belong in the primed key. Overall, the data resemble the tonal hierarchy previously demonstrated with other methods, thus establishing the validity of the response-time measure. In addition, the scale primes superimpose a recency effect on the standard hierarchy, as would be expected from a serially presented stimulus. We discuss what this implies about tonal hierarchies, and the use of response-time measures to study the online processes of music listening. We also report data for nondiatonic tones.
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Auditory modeling is used to investigate the role of short-term memory in probe-tone experiments. A framework for auditory modeling is first defined, based on a distinction between auditory images, processes, and stimulus-driven inferences. Experiments I and II of the probe-tone experiments described by C. Krumhansl and E. Kessler (1982) are simulated. The results show that a short-term memory model, working on echoic images of periodicity pitch, may account for the probe-tone ratings. The simulations challenge the claim that probe-tone experiments provide evidence that listeners familiar with Western music have abstracted tonal hierarchies in a long-term memory.
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The experiments reported here provide a perceptual analysis of the first movement of Mozart's Piano Sonata in Eb Major, K. 282. The listeners, who varied in the extent of their musical training, performed three tasks while listening to the piece as it was reproduced from an expert performance. The first task determined how the music is perceived to be segmented, the second task determined how the experience of tension varies over time, and the third task determined what listeners identify as new musical ideas in the piece. These tasks were performed first on the entire piece and then on smaller sections from the beginning. These three aspects of music perception are coordinated with one another and correlate with various musical attributes. Judgments of section ends co- occurred with peaks in tension and slow tempos. Judgments of new musical ideas co- occurred with low tension levels and neutral tempos. Tension was influenced by melodic contour, note density, dynamics, harmony, tonality, and other factors. Judgments of large-scale section ends were less frequent than judgments of new musical ideas, but these were more nearly one-to-one on smaller time scales. A subsidiary experiment examined the extent to which tension judgments were influenced by performed tempo and dynamics. Listeners made tension judgments for four different versions of the piece: as performed, constant dynamics (with tempo as performed), constant tempo (with dynamics as performed), and constant tempo and dynamics. The tension curves were generally very similar, deviating only in a few regions containing major section ends. The results are considered in light of the metaphor of tension applied to music and the analogy between music and linguistic discourse.
La perception de la musique Paris: Vrin We thank Brent Jones for assistance with data acquisition This work was supported by NIH grant P50 NS17778-18. r305 Tonal Pop-Out Halpern Effects of aging and musical experience on the representation of tonal hierarchies
  • R Francès
Francès, R. (1958). La perception de la musique. Paris: Vrin. We thank Brent Jones for assistance with data acquisition. This work was supported by NIH grant P50 NS17778-18. r305 Tonal Pop-Out Halpern, A. R., Kwak, S., Bartlett, J. C., & Dowling, W. J. (1996). Effects of aging and musical experience on the representation of tonal hierarchies. Psychology and Aging, 11, 235–246
Dynamics of tonality induction: A new method and a new model
  • C L Krumhansl
  • P Toiviainen
Krumhansl, C. L., & Toiviainen, P. (2000). Dynamics of tonality induction: A new method and a new model. Paper presented at the 6th International Conference on Music Percep-tion and Cognition, Keele, United Kingdom