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July 2020

Some effects of rhythmic context on melody recognition

Author(s): Boltz, M., Jones, M. R.

Journal/Book: Am J Psychol. 1984; 97: 153-73.

Abstract: The effects of rhythmic context on the ability of listeners to recognize slightly altered versions of 10-tone melodies were examined in three experiments. Listeners judged the melodic equivalence of two auditory patterns when their rhythms were either the same or different. Rhythmic variations produced large effects on a bias measure, indicating that listeners judged melodies to be alike if their rhythms were identical. However, neither rhythm nor pattern rate affected discriminability measures in the first study, in which rhythm was treated as a within subjects variable. The other two studies examined rhythmic context as a between subjects variable. In these, significant effects of temporal uncertainty due to the number and type of rhythms involved in a block of trials, as well as their assignment to standard and comparison melodies on a given trial, were apparent on both discriminability and bias measures. Results were interpreted in terms of the effect of temporal context on the rhythmic targeting of attention.

Keyword(s): Memory|. Music|. Pitch Perception|. Recall|. Time Perception|

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