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Percept Psychophys. 2002 Nov;64(8):1337-45.

Recognition of notated melodies by possessors and nonpossessors of absolute pitch.

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Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Niigata, Niigata, Japan.


Musically trained listeners compared a notated melody presented visually and a comparison melody presented auditorily, and judged whether they were exactly the same or not, with respect to relative pitch. Listeners who had absolute pitch showed the poorest performance for melodies transposed to different pitch levels from the notated melodies, whereas they exhibited the highest performance for untransposed melodies. By comparison, the performance of melody recognition by listeners who did not have absolute pitch was not influenced by the actual pitch level at which melodies were played. These results suggest that absolute-pitch listeners tend to rely on absolute pitch even in recognizing transposed melodies, for which the absolute-pitch strategy is not useful.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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