The present study investigated the impact of simple pair-association mechanisms for the acquisition of absolute pitch. At intervals of two weeks, participants (N = 20 adult nonmusicians) completed three tone identification tests (pre, post, and follow-up test). Participants of the experimental group (n = 10) underwent a ten-day adaptive training between the first and the second test in which they learned to associate pitches with the corresponding name. The results of the posttest revealed a positive effect of training in the experimental group compared to the control group as indicated by a higher proportion of correct responses as well as a smaller deviation measured in semitones in the tone identification task. The effect of training remained stable over the period without any further training (follow-up test). The results of this training study suggest that simple pair-association mechanisms are a key aspect in the development of absolute pitch.
- Received November 8, 2013.
- Accepted September 26, 2014.
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