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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2003 Nov;999:304-12.

More about the musical expertise of musically untrained listeners.

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Laboratoire d'Etude de l'Apprentissage et du Développement, UMR 5022, Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France.


Several behavioral experiments that were designed to compare the abilities of musicians and nonmusicians to process subtle changes in musical structures are surveyed. These experiments deal with different aspects of music perception including the processing of melodic and harmonic structures, the processing of large-scale structures, and implicit learning. In all these experiments, the so-called nonmusician listeners behaved in a very similar way as did highly trained students from music conservatories and music departments. This outcome suggests that when the experimental setting requires participants to process musical structures (in contrast to musical tones), the large audience of untrained listeners exhibits sophisticated musical abilities that are similar to those of musical experts. It has been suggested that musically untrained listeners are "experienced listeners" who use the same principles as musical experts in organizing their hearing of music.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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