Expectancy in melody: Tests of children and adults. Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Melodic expectancies among children and adults were examined. In Experiment 1, adults, 11-year-olds, and 8-year-olds rated how well individual test tones continued fragments of melodies. In Experiment 2, 11-, 8-, and 5-year-olds sang continuations to 2-tone stimuli. Response patterns were analyzed using 2 models of melodic expectancy. Despite having fewer predictor variables, the 2-factor model (E. G. Schellenberg, 1997) equaled or surpassed the implication-realization model (E. Narmour, 1990) in predictive accuracy. Listeners of all ages expected the next tone in a melody to be proximate in pitch to the tone heard most recently. Older listeners also expected reversals of pitch direction, specifically for tones that changed direction after a disruption of proximity and for tones that formed symmetric patterns.

publication date

  • December 2002