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Brain Sci. 2013, 3(4), 1615-1634; doi:10.3390/brainsci3041615

Pitch and Plasticity: Insights from the Pitch Matching of Chords by Musicians with Absolute and Relative Pitch

Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 September 2013 / Revised: 5 November 2013 / Accepted: 25 November 2013 / Published: 3 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music and Neural Plasticity)
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Absolute pitch (AP) is a form of sound recognition in which musical note names are associated with discrete musical pitch categories. The accuracy of pitch matching by non-AP musicians for chords has recently been shown to depend on stimulus familiarity, pointing to a role of spectral recognition mechanisms in the early stages of pitch processing. Here we show that pitch matching accuracy by AP musicians was also dependent on their familiarity with the chord stimulus. This suggests that the pitch matching abilities of both AP and non-AP musicians for concurrently presented pitches are dependent on initial recognition of the chord. The dual mechanism model of pitch perception previously proposed by the authors suggests that spectral processing associated with sound recognition primes waveform processing to extract stimulus periodicity and refine pitch perception. The findings presented in this paper are consistent with the dual mechanism model of pitch, and in the case of AP musicians, the formation of nominal pitch categories based on both spectral and periodicity information. View Full-Text
Keywords: pitch; absolute pitch; concurrent pitch; neurocognitive model; recognition pitch; absolute pitch; concurrent pitch; neurocognitive model; recognition

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

McLachlan, N.M.; Marco, D.J.T.; Wilson, S.J. Pitch and Plasticity: Insights from the Pitch Matching of Chords by Musicians with Absolute and Relative Pitch. Brain Sci. 2013, 3, 1615-1634.

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