The Theory of Chords, Part 1 (i Learn Perfect Pitch )


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In addition, an RP score was calculated as the interval between each two consecutive notes; for example, if C was the first note presented, followed by D, the interval equaled 2 semi-tones. The interval between each two consecutive answers was compared to the parallel interval between correct replies. If the interval was identical, a score of 1 was given, if it was different, the score was 0. That way, each note was actually scored in reference to the preceding note only.

It should be noted, however, that the RP score in this case was not directly measured, but inferred by the identification of intervals between successive pitches. The correct identification of intervals between two successive pitches has been used in previous studies to examine RP e. Measuring RP is indeed difficult in the case of AP possessors, since even in judging intervals, they may use AP to determine the pitch of one tone, then the other, and calculate the difference.

Complex Time Signatures, Song Forms, Pivot Chords & More: Your Music Theory Questions Answered

RP possessors, on the other hand, would deduce the interval without categorizing each pitch separately. In the present case, it is impossible to know which strategy was used by participants, but conceivably, a participant using only RP, could achieve a perfect score. A total RP score was calculated by adding all scores on each pair of trials. The second pretest was identical to the first, including a training phase, with one difference - after the participant chose a note and prior to hearing the next note, a rapid sequence of random notes was played for 4 s.

Order of presented notes was randomized for each participant. The aim of the interference was to avoid basing each consecutive reply on the previous reply, thus relying on RP. Since in Pre-test 1, participants basing their replies on RP could conceivably receive perfect AP scores, the interference in Pre-test 2 would differentiate between AP possessors and RP possessors. As in the pre-tests, in each test five training trials preceded the 15 test trials. A blank screen was then presented for 1 s, followed by a circle representing chord types see Figure 2.

In each trial, a random 7th chord was played for 2 s, in root position or second inversion. Seventh chords were used since simple triads were thought to be too simple a task for musicians. The participant was asked to choose as quickly as possible the type or harmonic hue of the chord by positioning the curser on the chosen chord from the circle and pressing the left button of the mouse if the participant did not answer after 8 s, the next chord was played. The following types of 7th chords were used: dominant 7th, major 7th, minor 7th, minor major 7th, minor 7thbth, augmented 7th, and augmented major 7th.

The chords were constructed on random notes in all scales. Presentation order of chords was randomized for each participant. A score was calculated by summing the correct replies on all 15 trials.

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In addition, a mean reaction time score was calculated for all trials. The reason a reference chord was given was to provide non-AP possessors with a reference stimulus, in order to be able to perform the task. It was assumed that for non-AP possessors the lack of a reference tone would render the task too difficult. After 2 s a chord was played for 2 s. The participant had 15 s to place the curser on the chosen note and press the left button before the screen changed to a blank screen again, followed by the reference chord C , and the next chord.

The longer time interval given for replies in this test was chosen because of the relative difficulty of the task. The same chords as in Test 1 were used, in root position, or second inversion.

Order of presented chords was randomized for each participant. A total score was calculated by summing the correct replies on all 15 trials. In addition, a mean reaction time for all trials was calculated. Each participant arrived at a time fixed by phone and met the researcher in a quiet room at the school of music at Tel-Aviv or Jerusalem University. The researcher gave each participant a debriefing page explaining the aims and procedure of the experiment. Once the participant read the text they were seated in front of a portable computer with headphones.

The researcher explained the study was about musical perception and the exact tasks would appear on the screen. The researcher added that if there were any problems in understanding the task the participant could call the researcher and ask for help. She then asked the participant to put on the headphones and start the program.

The researcher then exited the room and waited outside. After the first two pre-tests the participant called the researcher, who came in and asked the participant to leave the room and wait outside for a few minutes. After a few minutes break, the researcher asked the participant to go back to the room and continue with the two tests.

The researcher set the program and left the room again. After the study the participant was asked to call the researcher back. The researcher went into the room, asked the participant to fill out the demographic questionnaire, and thanked him. Each procedure lasted about min. Correlations between scores ranged from. These high correlations suggest that the two abilities are strongly related. Correlations were run between results on these tests and age of starting music education. Pre-tests 1 and 2 were designed to differentiate between AP and RP, through the presence or absence of interference.

Participants were divided by two criteria, according to median scores. First, they were divided by AP so that participants scoring 6 the median on Pre-test 2 or higher on AP in Pre-test 2 since in Pre-test 1 there was no interference, participants with AP would necessarily receive a high score on RP as well were categorized as high AP , and the others as low AP. Second, they were divided by RP so that participants with an RP score of 8 the median on Pre-test 1 and higher in Pre-test 1 only since Pre-test 2 contained interference, replies could not be based on RP, by remembering the preceding note were defined as high RP , whereas those who scored lower than 8 were defined as low RP.

Indeed, participants who scored 6 on Pre-test 2 do not have high AP, but simply have higher scores than participants who scored less than 6. Since, as mentioned above, RP and AP are highly correlated, the number of participants in groups high on one ability and low on the other is significantly smaller than in groups either high or low on both. Means and standard deviations of scores of the four categories are presented in Table 2. It should be emphasized that AP and RP are both considered continuous abilities, and the division of participants into separate groups of high and low AP and RP was done in order to create groups differing on their position on these continuums.

Standard deviations in parentheses. In order to confirm the categorizing of participants into high and low AP and RP, the effectiveness of the interference in Pre-test 2 in distinguishing between high and low AP and RP was tested by paired-sample t -tests. These were first conducted separately for participants who were categorized as high and low AP, between AP scores on Pre-test 1 and 2.

The idea was that if a participant possesses high AP, the interference in Pre-test 2 should not affect the score and it would be identical to that in Pre-test 1 without interference. If some participants do not possess high AP, they may still score high on Pre-test 1, basing their replies on RP. However, the interference in Pre-test 2 would render this strategy impossible, and so their score on this test should be lower. Then, comparisons were conducted separately for participants who were categorized as high and low RP, between RP scores on Pre-test 1 and 2.

Here, participants basing their replies on RP who received high scores in Pre-test 1 should be affected by the interference in Pre-test 2, and receive a lower score on Pre-test 2.

Absolute and relative pitch: Global versus local processing of chords

Participants with low RP should not be affected by the interference in Pre-test 2, and receive equally low scores on both pre-tests. Results are shown in Table 3. Using the Bonferroni correction, alpha was set at. As can be seen, participants who were categorized as low AP did indeed score lower on Pre-test 2, with the interference. Thus, the interference task was efficient.


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Likewise, participants with high RP were affected by the interference in Pre-test 2, and their performance was reduced, whereas participants with low RP were not affected by the interference, and their performance was equally low in both pre-tests. These results confirm that the pre-tests successfully distinguished between AP and RP.

One-way ANOVAs were conducted between participants categorized as high and low AP, and between participants categorized as high and low RP on age of starting music lessons and on number of years of practicing and studying music. In line with previous studies Deutsch et al. No significant differences were found between high and low RP possessors. As mentioned above, the task on Test 1 was the identification of chord hues. The task on Test 2 was the identification of specific pitches within a chord.

A maximum score would be For the whole sample, mean score on Test 1 was 7. Mean reaction time for Test 1 was Figure 3 presents scores for Test 1. Figure 4 presents scores for Test 2. Figure 5 presents reaction times for Test 1. No significant main effects or interactions were found for reaction times on Test 2.

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Figure 6 presents reaction times for Test 2. In order to find the sources of the interaction effects, one-way ANOVAs were conducted between the four groups for scores on Test 2 and reaction times for Test 1. The debate regarding the possible advantages or disadvantages of possessing AP centers on the question of whether the local categorical processing of pitch, typical of AP Schlaug, , is beneficial for processing of global structures in music, dependent on pitch relations or RP Miyazaki, a ; Ward, We propose instead that AP and RP are two related but separate abilities, each constituting a continuum.

Accordingly, participants were classified by two pre-tests, in which they were asked to name notes with or without interference, into high and low AP and RP. For each pre-test, an AP score the correct naming of individual pitches and an RP score the correct identification of intervals between two consecutively presented pitches were calculated. The strong correlations found between AP and RP scores on the two pre-tests show that the two abilities are indeed related.

However, the validity of the interference procedure in distinguishing between AP and RP was confirmed by t -tests comparing scores on the two pre-tests. Interference did not affect AP scores for participants categorized as high AP, but did reduce scores for participants categorized as low AP. Conversely, interference reduced RP scores for participants categorized as high RP, but did not affect scores for participants categorized as low RP. In effect, within individuals with AP, there is no direct way to measure RP, since intervals would necessarily be correctly identified, though the strategy used would conceivably be based solely on the identification of single pitches.

Nevertheless, the classification of participants by levels of RP may be attempted through more direct RP tasks in future studies. Participants were divided into four groups, by their AP and RP scores. Raw scores show most participants do not possess very high AP scores, and most participants are either high or low on both AP and RP, resulting in substantially smaller numbers of participants in groups possessing high scores on one ability and low scores on the other than in groups possessing either high or low scores on both abilities.

Although ideally a design with more equally distributed numbers of participants in each group would be preferable, the correlation between RP and AP implies that participants high on one ability and low on the other are rare. The t -tests described above, as well as the significant results discussed below in particular, the interaction between AP and RP on reaction times of Test 1 seem to confirm the fact that the two abilities are distinct and continuous.

The effect of these two abilities was then tested on an RP and AP task using chords. In Test 1 RP task , participants were asked to identify chord quality, and in Test 2 AP task , they were asked to name a particular note within a chord. In addition, reaction times were measured.

The Theory of Chords, Part 1 (i Learn Perfect Pitch ) The Theory of Chords, Part 1 (i Learn Perfect Pitch )
The Theory of Chords, Part 1 (i Learn Perfect Pitch ) The Theory of Chords, Part 1 (i Learn Perfect Pitch )
The Theory of Chords, Part 1 (i Learn Perfect Pitch ) The Theory of Chords, Part 1 (i Learn Perfect Pitch )
The Theory of Chords, Part 1 (i Learn Perfect Pitch ) The Theory of Chords, Part 1 (i Learn Perfect Pitch )
The Theory of Chords, Part 1 (i Learn Perfect Pitch ) The Theory of Chords, Part 1 (i Learn Perfect Pitch )
The Theory of Chords, Part 1 (i Learn Perfect Pitch ) The Theory of Chords, Part 1 (i Learn Perfect Pitch )

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