The speed of pitch resolution in a musical context

R. Ranvaud, W. F. Thompson*, L. Silveira-Moriyama, L. L. Balkwill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

In five experiments, we investigated the speed of pitch resolution in a musical context. In experiments 1-3, listeners were presented an incomplete scale (doh, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti) and then a probe tone. Listeners were instructed to make a rapid key-press response to probe tones that were relatively proximal in pitch to the last note of the scale (valid trials), and to ignore other probe tones (invalid trials). Reaction times were slower if the pitch of the probe tone was dissonant with the expected pitch (i.e., the completion of the scale, or doh) or if the probe tone was nondiatonic to the key implied by the scale. In experiments 4 and 5, listeners were presented a two-octave incomplete arpeggio, and then a probe tone. In this case, listeners were asked to make a rapid key-press response to probe tones that were relatively distant in pitch from the last note of the arpeggio. Under these conditions, registral direction and pitch proximity were the dominant influences on reaction time. Results are discussed in view of research on auditory attention and models of musical pitch.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3021-3030
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume109
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

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