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Trends Hear. 2018 Jan-Dec;22:2331216518766810. doi: 10.1177/2331216518766810.

Music and Speech Perception in Children Using Sung Speech.

Author information

1
1 Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, 3745 James Madison University , Harrisonburg, VA, USA.
2
2 House Ear Institute, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
3
3 Department of Head and Neck Surgery, University of California-Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Abstract

This study examined music and speech perception in normal-hearing children with some or no musical training. Thirty children (mean age = 11.3 years), 15 with and 15 without formal music training participated in the study. Music perception was measured using a melodic contour identification (MCI) task; stimuli were a piano sample or sung speech with a fixed timbre (same word for each note) or a mixed timbre (different words for each note). Speech perception was measured in quiet and in steady noise using a matrix-styled sentence recognition task; stimuli were naturally intonated speech or sung speech with a fixed pitch (same note for each word) or a mixed pitch (different notes for each word). Significant musician advantages were observed for MCI and speech in noise but not for speech in quiet. MCI performance was significantly poorer with the mixed timbre stimuli. Speech performance in noise was significantly poorer with the fixed or mixed pitch stimuli than with spoken speech. Across all subjects, age at testing and MCI performance were significantly correlated with speech performance in noise. MCI and speech performance in quiet was significantly poorer for children than for adults from a related study using the same stimuli and tasks; speech performance in noise was significantly poorer for young than for older children. Long-term music training appeared to benefit melodic pitch perception and speech understanding in noise in these pediatric listeners.

KEYWORDS:

children; music; pitch; sung speech; timbre

PMID:
29609496
PMCID:
PMC5888806
DOI:
10.1177/2331216518766810
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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