Events versus time in the perception of nonadjacent key relationships Academic Article uri icon

  •  
  • Overview
  •  
  • Identity
  •  
  • Additional Document Info
  •  
  • View All
  •  

abstract

  • Increasing the duration of an intervening key has a negative effect on memory for the original, nonadjacent key. Evidence suggests the recollection of a key only remains for 20 seconds after modulation to a new key section. But factors other than time might influence the perception of nonadjacent key relationships. By using a probe-cadence paradigm, this study tested whether time or the number of musical events (chords) determined the deterioration in memory of the global effect of nonadjacent keys. Stimuli were constructed in three parts: (a) a major key was established through a standard chord progression; (b) an intervening section, either 6 or 9 seconds in duration and formed from either four or six chords, was introduced in 12 possible keys; and (c) a short pause was followed by the probe cadence in the original key—that is, the key at (a). Fifty-one participants were asked to estimate the amount of harmonic closure they perceived at the probe cadence. Results confirmed previous findings of significant negative effects of time on the residual influence of the nonadjacent key. However, there were no significant effects of number of events. This provides evidence that it is the length of time, not the number of musical events in an intervening modulation that determines the recollection of the original key.

publication date

  • June 2021