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Recognition of melodic transformations: Inversion, retrograde, and retrograde inversion

Recognition of melodic transformations: Inversion, retrograde, and retrograde inversion The melodic transformations of inversion, retrograde, and retrograde inversion occur in pieces of music. An important question is whether such manipulations of melodic material are perceptually accessible to the listener. This study used a short-term recognition-memory paradigm and found that in the easier conditions all these transformations were recognized with better than chance accuracy. The ascending order of difficulty was: inversion, retrograde, retrograde inversion. There was no evidence that listeners distinguish between transforms that preserve the exact interval relationships of the standard stimulus and those that merely preserve its contour (pattern of ups and downs). In view of the order of difficulty of the transforms, two theoretical explanations of performance are possible (1) Listeners may perform the mental transformation required by the recognition task on a representation of the vector of pitches in the standard—an operation that is very like transforming a mental image of the written notation. (2) Listeners may handle inversions differently from the other transformations, comparing the standard and the comparison contour element by contour element, in temporal order. In this view, the temporal dimension would appear to have precedence over the pitch dimension in the musical structure, in consideration of the consequences of disturbing it. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics Springer Journals

Recognition of melodic transformations: Inversion, retrograde, and retrograde inversion

Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics , Volume 12 (5) – Jan 5, 2011

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References (13)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright
Subject
Psychology; Cognitive Psychology
ISSN
1943-3921
eISSN
1532-5962
DOI
10.3758/BF03205852
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The melodic transformations of inversion, retrograde, and retrograde inversion occur in pieces of music. An important question is whether such manipulations of melodic material are perceptually accessible to the listener. This study used a short-term recognition-memory paradigm and found that in the easier conditions all these transformations were recognized with better than chance accuracy. The ascending order of difficulty was: inversion, retrograde, retrograde inversion. There was no evidence that listeners distinguish between transforms that preserve the exact interval relationships of the standard stimulus and those that merely preserve its contour (pattern of ups and downs). In view of the order of difficulty of the transforms, two theoretical explanations of performance are possible (1) Listeners may perform the mental transformation required by the recognition task on a representation of the vector of pitches in the standard—an operation that is very like transforming a mental image of the written notation. (2) Listeners may handle inversions differently from the other transformations, comparing the standard and the comparison contour element by contour element, in temporal order. In this view, the temporal dimension would appear to have precedence over the pitch dimension in the musical structure, in consideration of the consequences of disturbing it.

Journal

Attention, Perception, & PsychophysicsSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 5, 2011

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