Perception of nonadjacent tonic-key relationships Academic Article uri icon

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

abstract

  • The issue of structural nonadjacency in music and language was explored from a musical perspective in an experiment employing a stimulus-matching paradigm. The experiment measured the perceptual effect of a temporally nonadjacent key on the closure of a musical phrase; participants rated a stimulus-ending two-chord probe cadence for its closural properties. The temporal rate of decay of the nonadjacent key in memory was observed by varying the length of the intervening key area; that is, the key temporally adjacent to the probe cadence. Evidence emerged that listeners were able to hold the nonadjacent key in memory for over 10 seconds, indicating “global” nonadjacent harmonic perceptions. The study provides qualified evidence to support the notion that there are syntactic parallelisms between language and music, particularly in respect of nonadjacent key relationships.

publication date

  • July 2016