Mechanisms of pitch discrimination in musicians and non-musicians

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Vomberg, Lauren
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Psychology
Musicians are better able to discriminate changes in pitch than non-musicians, particularly when judging tones constructed without the fundamental frequency, and especially when asked to vocally reproduce the tones. In two experiments, musicians and non-musicians were asked to judge whether a test tone was higher or lower than a reference tone. Participants were tested across four conditions, three designed to directly control humming; no specific instructions regarding humming specifically asked to hum, and speeded response (no time to hum). In the fourth condition, participants responded by moving a vertical slider up or down on the computer screen to the extent that they thought the tones differed. In Experiment 1, musicians were more accurate in performance accuracy and vocal reproduction. In Experiment 2, there were no statistically significant differences between participants.
Cognitive science , Harmonic analysis (Music) , Modulation (Music) , Musical analysis , Music theory