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January 2023

The special role of Fourths - Results of a clinical study on amusia

Author(s): Berthold, H.

Journal/Book: Musiktherapeutische Umschau. 1985; 6: STUTTGART. G. Fischer Verlag. 281-286.

Abstract: A comparative analysis was made between 34 neurological patients with brain lesions of varying aetiology, localised by means of computer tomography, and a control group, using the musicality test after WERTHEIM/BOTEZ and the Seashore Test. There was a significant incidence of receptive disorders among patients with left-hemisphere lesions, such as in estimating pitch. The most frequent directed disorder in imitative singing was producing a tone one fourth above or below the given note. Since in terms of music psychology the degree of concord is high with fourths and the transposition threshold low, this phenomenon can, by analogy with speech aphasie, be regarded as a regressive development and a simplification. An alternative interpretation of the "fourth phenomenon" in terms of music psychology would be to see it as emphatic reflexive self-reference as affected by the patient's pathology. It is suggested that use can be made of this "fourth experience" within music therapy.

Keyword(s): Comparative-analysis, transposition-threshold, music-psychology, patient-pathology, fourth-phenomenon.

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