The effect of task and pitch structure on pitch-time interactions in music
Prince, J.B., Schmuckler, M.A. and Thompson, W.F. (2009) The effect of task and pitch structure on pitch-time interactions in music. In: Society for Music Perception and Cognition Conference, 3-7 August 2009, Indianapolis
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Musical pitch-time relations were explored by investigating the effect of temporal variation on musical pitch processing. In Experiment 1, musicians heard a standard tone, followed by a tonal context, then followed by a comparison tone, and performed one of two tasks. In the cognitive task, listeners were asked to ignore the standard tone and to judge whether the comparison tone was in the key of the context. In the perceptual task, listeners were asked to ignore the context and judge whether the comparison tone was higher or lower in pitch than the earlier standard tone. In both tasks, the comparison tone occurred early, on-time or late with respect to the temporal structure that the context established. Analyses of accuracy in both the cognitive and perceptual tasks failed to reveal any impact of temporal variation on pitch judgments. Experiment 2 used only the perceptual task, and varied the pitch structure by employing either a tonal context or an atonal context of random pitches, and manipulating the temporal placement of the comparison tone. Like Experiment 1, temporal variation had no effect on pitch height judgments for tonal contexts; however this variation influenced accuracy for atonal contexts. Experiment 3 replicated the results of Experiment 2 but also controlled several potentially confounding factors. We argue that tonal contexts bias listeners’ attention toward pitch, thus eliminating effects of temporal variation, whereas atonal contexts do not favor pitch and thus foster pitch-time interactions in musical pitch processing.
|Publication Type:||Conference Paper|
|Publisher:||Society for Music Perception and Cognition|
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