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Pitch and plasticity: insights from the pitch matching of chords by musicians with absolute and relative pitch.

McLachlan NM, Marco DJ, Wilson SJ - Brain Sci (2013)

Bottom Line: This suggests that the pitch matching abilities of both AP and non-AP musicians for concurrently presented pitches are dependent on initial recognition of the chord.The dual mechanism model of pitch perception previously proposed by the authors suggests that spectral processing associated with sound recognition primes waveform processing to extract stimulus periodicity and refine pitch perception.The findings presented in this paper are consistent with the dual mechanism model of pitch, and in the case of AP musicians, the formation of nominal pitch categories based on both spectral and periodicity information.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia. mcln@unimelb.edu.au.

ABSTRACT
Absolute pitch (AP) is a form of sound recognition in which musical note names are associated with discrete musical pitch categories. The accuracy of pitch matching by non-AP musicians for chords has recently been shown to depend on stimulus familiarity, pointing to a role of spectral recognition mechanisms in the early stages of pitch processing. Here we show that pitch matching accuracy by AP musicians was also dependent on their familiarity with the chord stimulus. This suggests that the pitch matching abilities of both AP and non-AP musicians for concurrently presented pitches are dependent on initial recognition of the chord. The dual mechanism model of pitch perception previously proposed by the authors suggests that spectral processing associated with sound recognition primes waveform processing to extract stimulus periodicity and refine pitch perception. The findings presented in this paper are consistent with the dual mechanism model of pitch, and in the case of AP musicians, the formation of nominal pitch categories based on both spectral and periodicity information.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Histograms of pitch matching performance by each musician group for the three chords rated as most unfamiliar by all musicians (2nd, 2 semitones; flattened 5th triad, 4 and 6 semitones; augmented 5th triad, 4 and 8 semitones) contrasted with the chord rated as most familiar (major triad, 4 and 7 semitones). Grey dashed lines demark the frequency of target pitches.
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brainsci-03-01615-f004: Histograms of pitch matching performance by each musician group for the three chords rated as most unfamiliar by all musicians (2nd, 2 semitones; flattened 5th triad, 4 and 6 semitones; augmented 5th triad, 4 and 8 semitones) contrasted with the chord rated as most familiar (major triad, 4 and 7 semitones). Grey dashed lines demark the frequency of target pitches.

Mentions: The lack of difference in the variances of pitch matching distributions between musician groups for single pitches [F(2, 30) = 0.29, p = 0.75] is consistent with previous research that shows that AP musicians do not have better pitch discrimination than RP musicians for single pitches [46]. The trend for better pitch matching performance by the AP musicians for 3-pitch chords but not 2-pitch chords or single pitches, despite no differences in the levels of music training (Table 1) or chord familiarity ratings [3-pitch, F(2, 30) = 0.72, p = 0.72, partial η2 = 0.05] suggests that AP musicians may possess chord templates with more finely tuned spectral information than the other musician groups that assist them in disambiguating complex spectral information. To explore this idea further we examined the pitch matching responses for the mostly closely spaced 2-pitch chord, the major second (2-semitones), shown in the histograms for each musician group in Figure 4. Consistent with Hypothesis 3, only the AP musicians showed two distinct pitch matching distributions for the higher and lower target pitches of this chord. Post hoc analysis showed that the pitch matching accuracy for the highest and lowest pitches in the chord were significantly different for the RP musicians [t(11) = 2.283, p < 0.05], but not the QAP and AP musicians. In other words, the AP musicians performed equally well for both target positions, indicating that they were able to resolve the two pitches, as suggested by inspection of Figure 4. Note that the QAP pitch matching accuracy for the two semitone chord was intermediate between AP and RP accuracy (Figure 3), but the difference between the distributions for the two target pitches did not reach significance.


Pitch and plasticity: insights from the pitch matching of chords by musicians with absolute and relative pitch.

McLachlan NM, Marco DJ, Wilson SJ - Brain Sci (2013)

Histograms of pitch matching performance by each musician group for the three chords rated as most unfamiliar by all musicians (2nd, 2 semitones; flattened 5th triad, 4 and 6 semitones; augmented 5th triad, 4 and 8 semitones) contrasted with the chord rated as most familiar (major triad, 4 and 7 semitones). Grey dashed lines demark the frequency of target pitches.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4061894&req=5

brainsci-03-01615-f004: Histograms of pitch matching performance by each musician group for the three chords rated as most unfamiliar by all musicians (2nd, 2 semitones; flattened 5th triad, 4 and 6 semitones; augmented 5th triad, 4 and 8 semitones) contrasted with the chord rated as most familiar (major triad, 4 and 7 semitones). Grey dashed lines demark the frequency of target pitches.
Mentions: The lack of difference in the variances of pitch matching distributions between musician groups for single pitches [F(2, 30) = 0.29, p = 0.75] is consistent with previous research that shows that AP musicians do not have better pitch discrimination than RP musicians for single pitches [46]. The trend for better pitch matching performance by the AP musicians for 3-pitch chords but not 2-pitch chords or single pitches, despite no differences in the levels of music training (Table 1) or chord familiarity ratings [3-pitch, F(2, 30) = 0.72, p = 0.72, partial η2 = 0.05] suggests that AP musicians may possess chord templates with more finely tuned spectral information than the other musician groups that assist them in disambiguating complex spectral information. To explore this idea further we examined the pitch matching responses for the mostly closely spaced 2-pitch chord, the major second (2-semitones), shown in the histograms for each musician group in Figure 4. Consistent with Hypothesis 3, only the AP musicians showed two distinct pitch matching distributions for the higher and lower target pitches of this chord. Post hoc analysis showed that the pitch matching accuracy for the highest and lowest pitches in the chord were significantly different for the RP musicians [t(11) = 2.283, p < 0.05], but not the QAP and AP musicians. In other words, the AP musicians performed equally well for both target positions, indicating that they were able to resolve the two pitches, as suggested by inspection of Figure 4. Note that the QAP pitch matching accuracy for the two semitone chord was intermediate between AP and RP accuracy (Figure 3), but the difference between the distributions for the two target pitches did not reach significance.

Bottom Line: This suggests that the pitch matching abilities of both AP and non-AP musicians for concurrently presented pitches are dependent on initial recognition of the chord.The dual mechanism model of pitch perception previously proposed by the authors suggests that spectral processing associated with sound recognition primes waveform processing to extract stimulus periodicity and refine pitch perception.The findings presented in this paper are consistent with the dual mechanism model of pitch, and in the case of AP musicians, the formation of nominal pitch categories based on both spectral and periodicity information.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia. mcln@unimelb.edu.au.

ABSTRACT
Absolute pitch (AP) is a form of sound recognition in which musical note names are associated with discrete musical pitch categories. The accuracy of pitch matching by non-AP musicians for chords has recently been shown to depend on stimulus familiarity, pointing to a role of spectral recognition mechanisms in the early stages of pitch processing. Here we show that pitch matching accuracy by AP musicians was also dependent on their familiarity with the chord stimulus. This suggests that the pitch matching abilities of both AP and non-AP musicians for concurrently presented pitches are dependent on initial recognition of the chord. The dual mechanism model of pitch perception previously proposed by the authors suggests that spectral processing associated with sound recognition primes waveform processing to extract stimulus periodicity and refine pitch perception. The findings presented in this paper are consistent with the dual mechanism model of pitch, and in the case of AP musicians, the formation of nominal pitch categories based on both spectral and periodicity information.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus