Event Title

The Effects of Musical Training on Perceived Auditory Object Musicality

Mentor 1

Adam Greenberg

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

24-4-2015 2:30 PM

End Date

24-4-2015 3:45 PM

Description

Previous research has shown differences between trained musicians and non-musicians on a variety of measures. Here, we asked if the perception of musicality varies as a function of the amount of formal training in music. We evaluated participants’ musical training using a detailed quantitative metric based on a questionnaire we created. The questionnaire asked about formal training, experience playing an instrument/singing, frequency of practice, when subjects began and ended training, and education in music. Certain questions were weighted more heavily, such as items that asked about the length of time subjects spent taking music classes and practicing. Subjects were then presented 100 randomly generated sequences of ten pure tone notes. They rated each sequence on perceived musicality, using a five-point Likert scale (1 = not musical; 5 = very musical). The pure tone sequences were all generated from a one octave, Major, diatonic scale, and were presented in 16 segments with 20 seconds of rest between each block. Participants presented with a wide range of formal training; however, they naturally fell into three groups that we categorized as low-, medium-, and high-training. We found a high degree of consistency across all subjects as to which melodies were rated most musical, and which melodies were rated least musical. Despite this consistency across subjects, our high-training group used a wider range of the rating scale and tended to be more extreme in their ratings, compared to the medium and low groups. This may indicate that participants with more training were more confident in judgments of musicality than the low- and medium-training subjects. While participants largely agreed on which melodies were the most musical and nonmusical, they differed in the strength/magnitude of their ratings. For instance, the average ratings within subjects for the highest rated melodies and the lowest rate melodies were higher and lower, respectively, for the high-training group, as compared to the medium and low groups. Taken together, these data suggest that long-term formal training in music may cause changes in the neural mechanisms involved in auditory perception, such that highly trained musicians perceive auditory objects differently, compared to those without training in music.

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Apr 24th, 2:30 PM Apr 24th, 3:45 PM

The Effects of Musical Training on Perceived Auditory Object Musicality

Union Wisconsin Room

Previous research has shown differences between trained musicians and non-musicians on a variety of measures. Here, we asked if the perception of musicality varies as a function of the amount of formal training in music. We evaluated participants’ musical training using a detailed quantitative metric based on a questionnaire we created. The questionnaire asked about formal training, experience playing an instrument/singing, frequency of practice, when subjects began and ended training, and education in music. Certain questions were weighted more heavily, such as items that asked about the length of time subjects spent taking music classes and practicing. Subjects were then presented 100 randomly generated sequences of ten pure tone notes. They rated each sequence on perceived musicality, using a five-point Likert scale (1 = not musical; 5 = very musical). The pure tone sequences were all generated from a one octave, Major, diatonic scale, and were presented in 16 segments with 20 seconds of rest between each block. Participants presented with a wide range of formal training; however, they naturally fell into three groups that we categorized as low-, medium-, and high-training. We found a high degree of consistency across all subjects as to which melodies were rated most musical, and which melodies were rated least musical. Despite this consistency across subjects, our high-training group used a wider range of the rating scale and tended to be more extreme in their ratings, compared to the medium and low groups. This may indicate that participants with more training were more confident in judgments of musicality than the low- and medium-training subjects. While participants largely agreed on which melodies were the most musical and nonmusical, they differed in the strength/magnitude of their ratings. For instance, the average ratings within subjects for the highest rated melodies and the lowest rate melodies were higher and lower, respectively, for the high-training group, as compared to the medium and low groups. Taken together, these data suggest that long-term formal training in music may cause changes in the neural mechanisms involved in auditory perception, such that highly trained musicians perceive auditory objects differently, compared to those without training in music.