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ERIC Number: EJ914361
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jul
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0305-7356
Singers' Recall for the Words and Melody of a New, Unaccompanied Song
Ginsborg, Jane; Sloboda, John A.
Psychology of Music, v35 n3 p421-440 Jul 2007
The nature of the relationship between words and music in memory has been studied in a variety of ways, from investigations of listeners' recall for the words of songs stored in long-term memory to recall for novel information set to unfamiliar melodies. We asked singers to perform an unaccompanied song from memory following deliberate learning and memorization of the words and melody separately and together. Participants with high levels of musical expertise gave more accurate and fluent performances than those with lower levels of musical expertise, but only when they had memorized the words and melody together. While some errors were conjoint, such that erroneous recall of one component--words or melody--affected recall for the other, a higher proportion were separate, such that participants were able to preserve one component when they recalled the other erroneously. Words and melody are thus recalled in association with one another, so that retrieving one enables retrieval of the other, but are not integrated to the extent that failure to recall one accurately invariably results in failure to recall the other. Finally, more hesitations were made at the ends of phrases than at the start or mid-phrase, suggesting that the formal structure of a song provides a framework for recall. In conclusion, memorizing words and melody together is an effective strategy, but perhaps only for singers with high levels of musical expertise. (Contains 2 tables and 4 figures.)
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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