individuals with congenital amusia have difficulty recognizing and discriminating melodies. While much research has focused on the perceptual deficits of congenital amusics, the extent to which these deficits have an impact on the ability to engage with and appreciate music remains unexplored. The current study used experience sampling methodology to identify distinct patterns of music-related behavior in individuals with amusia and matched controls. Cluster analysis was used to group individuals according to the similarity of their behavior, regardless of their status as amusic or control. This yielded a two-cluster solution: one cluster comprising 59% of the amusic sample and 6% of controls and the other comprising 41% of the amusic sample and 94% of controls. Comparisons of the two clusters in terms of specific aspects of music listening behavior revealed differences in levels of music engagement and appreciation. Further comparisons provided support for the existence of amusic subgroups showing distinct attitudes toward music. The findings are discussed in relation to social, contextual, and demographic factors.
- congenital amusia
- music engagement and appreciation
- music perception
- experience sampling methodology
- cluster analysis
- Received January 31, 2011.
- Accepted September 6, 2011.
- © 2012 by The Regents of the University of California