a group of 11 amusic individuals with mandarin as their first language were tested on a two-tone discrimination task. In addition, a four-tone sequence task with an additional initial reference note and a final return to the reference note (i.e., AABA) was employed to assess if repeating the reference note resulted in an improvement of pitch discrimination for amusic individuals. The findings showed that the amusic participants had difficulty discriminating two-tone pairs and four-tone sequences relative to 11 control participants. The performance of the amusic group on the four-tone sequence was not better than that predicted based upon their performance during the two-tone task, indicating that repetition of the reference note did not aid performance. The findings suggest that tonal language experience may not facilitate fine-grained pitch discrimination for amusics who speak Mandarin Chinese as their first language.
- Received September 7, 2010.
- Accepted February 6, 2011.
- © 2011 by the Regents of the University of California