Telling in-tune from out-of-tune: Widespread evidence for implicit absolute intonation

Van Hedger, S. C., Heald, S. L., Huang, A., Rutstein, B., & Nusbaum, H. C. (2016). Telling in-tune from out-of-tune: widespread evidence for implicit absolute intonation. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 1-8.

Abstract: Absolute pitch (AP) is the rare ability to name or produce an isolated musical note without the aid of a reference note. One skill thought to be unique to AP possessors is the ability to provide absolute intonation judgments (e.g., classifying an isolated note as “in-tune” or “out-of-tune”). Recent work has suggested that absolute intonation perception among AP possessors is not crystallized in a critical period of development, but is dynamically maintained by the listening environment, in which the vast majority of Western music is tuned to a specific cultural standard. Given that all listeners of Western music are constantly exposed to this specific cultural tuning standard, our experiments address whether absolute intonation perception extends beyond AP possessors. We demonstrate that non-AP listeners are able to accurately judge the intonation of completely isolated notes. Both musicians and nonmusicians showed evidence for absolute intonation recognition when listening to familiar timbres (piano and violin). When testing unfamiliar timbres (triangle and inverted sine waves), only musicians showed weak evidence of absolute intonation recognition (Experiment 2). Overall, these results highlight a previously unknown similarity between AP and non-AP possessors’ long-term musical note representations, including evidence of sensitivity to frequency.

Read the article: Van Hedger, S. C., Heald, S. L., Huang, A., Rutstein, B., & Nusbaum, H. C. (2016). Telling in-tune from out-of-tune: Widespread evidence for implicit absolute intonation. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 1-8.



(Something interesting I found)Posted:Jul 01 2016, 12:00 AM by jlmatelski
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