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ERIC Number: EJ860092
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 116
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
Pitch and Time, Tonality and Meter: How Do Musical Dimensions Combine?
Prince, Jon B.; Thompson, William F.; Schmuckler, Mark A.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v35 n5 p1598-1617 Oct 2009
The authors examined how the structural attributes of tonality and meter influence musical pitch-time relations. Listeners heard a musical context followed by probe events that varied in pitch class and temporal position. Tonal and metric hierarchies contributed additively to the goodness-of-fit of probes, with pitch class exerting a stronger influence than temporal position (Experiment 1), even when listeners attempted to ignore pitch (Experiment 2). Speeded classification tasks confirmed this asymmetry. Temporal classification was biased by tonal stability (Experiment 3), but pitch classification was unaffected by temporal position (Experiment 4). Experiments 5 and 6 ruled out explanations based on the presence of pitch classes and temporal positions in the context, unequal stimulus quantity, and discriminability. The authors discuss how typical Western music biases attention toward pitch and distinguish between dimensional discriminability and salience. (Contains 8 figures, 3 tables, and 4 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A