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ERIC Number: EJ1124857
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jan
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Learning Novel Musical Pitch via Distributional Learning
Ong, Jia Hoong; Burnham, Denis; Stevens, Catherine J.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v43 n1 p150-157 Jan 2017
Because different musical scales use different sets of intervals and, hence, different musical pitches, how do music listeners learn those that are in their native musical system? One possibility is that musical pitches are acquired in the same way as phonemes, that is, via distributional learning, in which learners infer knowledge from the distributional structure of their input. In this study, we investigate whether novel musical pitch can be acquired distributionally. Nonmusician adults were trained on a continuum spanning a novel musical chord minimal pair (i.e., a novel chord and a mistuned version of that chord) in which the continuum was presented either in a bimodal distribution, with a modal peak at each end of the continuum, or in a unimodal distribution, with a single central modal peak. Discrimination of target minimal pairs was assessed before and after exposure to the distribution. Distributional learning would be said to occur if learners in the bimodal condition, but not those in the unimodal condition, showed evidence of learning, as indexed by improvement in discriminating the minimal pair from pretest to posttest. This indeed was the outcome, suggesting that the building blocks of musical melody--musical pitch--can be acquired using distributional learning.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A