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October 2021

Long-term memory for temporal structure: evidence form the identification of well-known and novel songs

Journal/Book: Mem Cognit. 1999; 27: 896-906.

Abstract: In three experiments, long-term memory for temporal structure was examined by having participants identify both well-known (e.g., "I've Been Working on the Railroad") and novel songs. The target songs were subjected to a number of rhythmic alterations, to assess the importance of four critical features of identification performance. The four critical features were meter, phrasing, rhythmic contour (ordinal scaling of note durations), and the ratio of successive durations. In contrast with previous work, the unaltered version of each song was identified significantly better than any altered version. This indicates that rhythm is stored in long-term memory. Furthermore, the results demonstrated that all four critical features play a role in the identification of songs. These results held for both well-known and novel tunes.

Keyword(s): Adult. Case-Control Studies. Female. Human. Male. Memory. Music/psychology. Recall. Time Perception


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